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Publisher's Summary

No matter how you might try to hide in a war to escape your past, it is always close at hand.

Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turing’s Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Now, as part of Simon Barre’s covert team in post-war Vienna, she uses her inimitable charm and code name Starling to infiltrate the world of relics: uncovering vital information that could tilt the stakes of the mounting Cold War. When several influential men charge her with finding the death mask of Mozart, Sophie wonders if there is more than the composer’s legacy at stake and finds herself drawn to potential answers in Prague.

Simon Barrington, the illegitimate heir of one of Sussex’s oldest estates, used the previous war to hide his insecurities about his past. Now, he uses his high breeding to gain access to all four allied quarters of the ruined city in an attempt to slow the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has been in love with Sophie Villiers since the moment he met her, and a marriage of convenience to save Simon’s estate has always kept her close. Until now, when Sophie’s mysterious client in Prague forces him to wonder if her allegiance to him - and their cause - is in question. Torn between his loyalty to his cause and his heart, Simon seeks answers about Sophie only to learn that everything he thought he knew about his involvement in both wars is based on a lie.

“Murky espionage and burgeoning passion twine beautifully together in The Mozart Code’s superbly evocative prose - an enchanting read!” (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Rose Code)

“Vienna is the new Paris in The Mozart Code, a World War II spy novel with deft, chess-like plotting, and plenty of old-fashioned romance.” (Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times best-selling author of the Maggie Hope novels and Mother Daughter Traitor Spy)

The Mozart Code is a smart, luscious romance, a thrilling suspense, and a thunderously good read. McMillan is a rising star in historical fiction.” (Aimie K. Runyan, best-selling author of The School for German Brides)

“Rife with secret codes, haunting melodies, betrayal and sacrifice, at its heart this is a story about the courage it takes to love and be loved. Highly recommended!” (Kimberly Brock, author of The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare)

The Mozart Code left me breathless.” (Joy Callaway, international best-selling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and The Greenbrier Resort)

  • Post World War II historical romance
  • Stand-alone novel (features characters from The London Restoration)
  • Book length: 95,000 words
©2021 Rachel McMillan (P)2021 Thomas Nelson

What the critics say

“A damaged post-war city and two damaged post-war hearts collide in Rachel McMillan’s latest gripping romantic drama. Ex-codebreaker Sophie Villiers and her MI-6 marriage-of-convenience husband, Simon Barre, are thrown together in Vienna on the hunt for a double agent, a priceless relic, and just possibly love. Murky espionage and burgeoning passion twine beautifully together in The Mozart Code’s superbly evocative prose - an enchanting read!” (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Rose Code)

“Vienna is the new Paris in The Mozart Code, a World War II spy novel with deft, chess-like plotting, and plenty of old-fashioned romance. McMillan’s meticulous research and love of music, architecture, and history shine through in this evocative read.” (Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times best-selling author of the Maggie Hope novels and Mother Daughter Traitor Spy)

“Rachel McMillan’s The Mozart Code is two parts romance, one part intrigue, with some of the most lavishly detailed settings seen in historical fiction for quite some time. McMillan’s love of her characters, the irrepressible Sophie Villiers and Simon Barre, as well as for the splendors of Vienna and Prague, shine through on every page. Above all, the love that Simon feels for his Sophie, and she for him, despite all that would keep them apart, kept me hurtling through the pages. The Mozart Code is a smart, luscious romance, a thrilling suspense, and a thunderously good read. McMillan is a rising star in historical fiction.” (Aimie K. Runyan, best-selling author of The School for German Brides)

What listeners say about The Mozart Code

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enjoyable story!

I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I did not know there is another book with the same characters that takes place first, so it may be worth reading that one first, however this story also stands on its own. The performance was good (which I believe can make or break an audio book), and I enjoyed the characters. I found some of it a bit hard to follow on audio, so I think I would like to read the book another time as well. There are a few time jumps and a lot of the names are foreign and not always easy to keep track of over audio onky. I did find there were a lot of big words used in the book perhaps unnecessarily, although that is more a reflection of my mediocre vocabulary than anything. Overall, this was an entertaining and enjoyable book that I would recommend!

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  • sharon
  • 2022-04-10

Loved Her First Book. This one not so much

I read the first book "The London Restoration and really enjoyed it. However the plot in "The Mozart Code"
was very muddled, too cryptic and had too many antagonists. I liked the Simon character but Sophie was
very wooden and not quite believable. Her obsession with Mozart's music was tiresome.
As was the Chess angle. At times it dragged on so that I almost didnt finish it.
It took place in Post War Vienna and did not give a clear picture of the politics and the threat of the cold war.
I did not care for the narration.

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  • Syd Young
  • 2022-09-05

Hits all the Chords

I had a hard time with the first chapter, and wasn’t sure if I wanted to read the book, there was just a lot coming at me all at once. I’m glad I stuck in and started Chapter 2 for that sealed the deal pretty quick. Yes, this is a Cold War, Iron Curtain thriller, with a great love affair and intrigue begun before WWII and beyond at its heart.

I was very vested in Simon and Sophie’s love, as well as Simon’s broken heart, so in the end I agree that the first chapter belongs to him. I just didn’t see that heart until chapter 2! After that, the layering of the flashbacks and historic details was played perfectly. There’s a lot to this book, but that’s how I like my intrigues. Also the narration is perfect.

I had not read the first book in this series (is it a series or two adjacent stand alones?), and though I’m tempted now due to the strength of the writing, I’m very tired of pure WWII books, so I took the chance on just reading this book. I’m glad to report that it completely stood on its own. Perfect read for a holiday weekend!

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  • Morgan Tarpley Smith
  • 2022-04-18

Another mesmerizing release from Rachel McMillan!

Wonderful imagery and beautiful prose and a thrilling story that grabs you and won’t let you go until the stunning conclusion. Great narration too!

I love how McMillan weaves physical objects with deeper psychological ways in her novels. This time it was the game of chess and the music of Mozart as well as the rumors surrounding the existence of his death mask.

I loved the characters of Simon and Sophie who originally met in her novel, The London Restoration. They are raw, flawed, realistic characters struggling with their place in a post WWII world and navigating their marriage of convenience. A must read!