For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I have been making half-decent progress on my new book, You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic. When I first announced it, I know I described it as a wartime thriller, and while I still plan for it to turn into a thriller as the story goes on, there’s currently more of a leaning towards the mystery genre. I am over 250 pages in and nowhere near even the middle of the story; needless to say it will definitely eclipse Lust & Liberty in length.
A few of my friends have asked about what the book is actually about and, now that I have it worked out, I’m happy to give a synopsis, without giving too much away.
You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic is a war story told through the eyes of Heinrich Oeunhausen, the owner and manager of the Heinrichstürme Hotel in Berlin. Running one of the last still-functioning hotels in the heart of war is hard enough, with the malevolent SS commander Leopold Upfauer (a close confidante of the Führer himself) breathing down his neck and his being pressured to become a member of the Nazi Party in his own right, but also as Heinrich is forced to protect a very precious secret — a guest with a very special connection to our hero.
This is all thrown into disarray by the arrival of the mysterious Cordelia Knesebeck, who quickly makes a nuisance of herself snooping in the hotel’s corridors, aiming to achieve her own agenda. Circumstances, plus a little meddling from an impulsive and rebellious concierge, force Heinrich and Cordelia to become allies and help one another get what they want. With SS officers, a loudmouthed reprobate sibling, morally-questionable staff members and other nosy guests milling around, will either party succeed?
You may be wondering where Chopin comes into it, but to tell you might give too much of the game away! But otherwise, what do you think to that so far? Keep up with this blog or my Instagram and you may find out more about the characters, even read some snippets from the book such as it is. The subject of hotels and high society in the Third Reich has also been a very interesting thing to research, albeit a total bitch since it’s largely unexplored! May throw some intriguing non-fiction titbits your way too as they come up. Stay tuned…