Mastersinger From Minsk Secondary Title

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.

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Praise for The Mastersinger From Minsk

“You dont have to be a classical music lover to enjoy this one.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“The second Hermann Preiss novel by Morley Torgov, set in 19th-century Munich, is even better than the first… Torgov’s loudmouthed, demanding, entitled, screeching lecher [Vagner] may just be the real thing. In any event, it makes for a great story.”

The Globe and Mail

Dundurn 2012 
Actes Sud France 2013

Mastersinger From Minsk

In the City of Munich, 1868, composer Richard Wagner has finally completed the libretto and score for his new opera “Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg,” an undertaking of sixteen years of starts and stops, and limitless revisions.   After a string of extremely difficult years consisting of political exile; severe financial problems; incessant slings and arrows from his music critics and a chaotic domestic life – Wagner’s reputation and financial stability depend on the critical and popular success of this new work.

When an anonymous note arrives threatening the success of Wagner’s premiere, Inspector Hermann Preiss is called to investigate. With the premiere less than two months away, and an enemy list stretching from one opera act to another, discovering the perpetrator before opening night will be Preiss’ Magnum Opus. As Preiss narrows his search, a series of calamitous murders of people involved in the opera production eliminate his prime suspects and leaves him wondering if Wagner himself may be the culprit.  

Join Düsseldorf’s top detective, in the second installment of the Hermann Preiss Series, for another mystery in the world of classical rock stars, where life and death hangs on a single note.

Morley Torgov is an award-winning author of five previous novels and has won the Leacock Medal for Humour twice. The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick was made into a movie that took the main prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also the basis of a 26 part CBC TV sitcom. His first book A Good PLace to Come From was adapted for TV and for three full-length stage plays by Israel Horovitz that have enjoyed productions at numerous community theaters in the US. 

Morley Torgov’s Interview on CBC Radio

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