April 2015, 160 pages
Piano tuner Frank Ryan is paid in kind by an aging music teacher with an old manuscript that turns out to be Beethoven's Tenth Symphony. Launched into a world of intrigue and violence, Ryan, an unlikely sleuth, realizes he must use his wits to conquer his enemies and solve the mystery of the manuscript. In the process Ryan discovers who he can trust and what he is made of.
Beethoven's Tenth is the first novel in the intended Frank Ryan Mystery series, by Brian Harvey, and part of Orca Book's Rapid Reads program. I received my copy free of charge, from the publisher, through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program (no other compensation was received).
This was the second Rapid Reads novel I've read -- actually, I didn't realize this was one of the series until I received the book. Both the books I've read are short enough to read in one sitting, include a lot of action and dialogue, and are fun to read. I think they'd definitely hold the interest of the audience they're aimed at: ESL students, readers enrolled in literacy programs, young adults, and (as their blog says) "reluctant readers of all ages."
I mostly enjoyed this one. The narrator/protagonist was flawed but attractive and easy to empathize with. The story had just enough twists and turns to keep me turning pages, and the plot was clever but not terribly complicated. Aside from one long and rather unfortunate episode featuring a septic system caper, the book was a fast, fun read. Recommended, with reservations (yeah, that septic system yarn was a turn-off).