Launching a new short story series!

Mister E’s Mysteries!

Vol. 1 Cover



There are so many kinds of mystery short stories: creepy, clever, humorous, macabre, spooky, wicked, and puzzling. Are all of them traditional whodunits? Feh! Of course not. They can be head scratchers: “Hmm, what weird thing just happened?” Or, someone’s dark, troubled past bubbling up to the surface at the most inopportune time. Mystery short stories can be lightning strike short or as long as an owl’s shadow in a full moon. They can take place in the remote Utah desert, the charming Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, or a trendy coffee shop in midtown Manhattan. Anywhere.

In Mister E’s Mysteries, you’ll find mini-volumes of eclectic three mystery short stories, sequenced like a dinner at your favorite restaurant. You start out with a mouthwatering appetizer followed by a savory main course, and polish things off with a light, delightful dessert. (Burp.)

Now, what would you be willing to pay for a meal like that? Forty, fifty dollars? Sixty? Well, you can purchase each volume of my Mister E’s Mysteries for $2.99 as an eBook or $5.99 in paperback! And you don’t even have to leave a tip! Go ahead. Try one! You’ll want to collect them all. But beware, once you’re in…there’s no turning back. Oowahahaaaaa!

Volume 1: Sleeping Beauty, Head in the Sand, Make Mine a Double

Volume 2: Buffaloed, The Circle of Fifths, Viral

Volume 3: Tutti Frutti, Brotherhood, A Family Plot

Volume 4: Pea Soup, Oh Give Me a Home, Asparagus

Volume 5: Christmas Concerto, Where the Buffalo Roam, Fool Me Once

Volume 6:  Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word, The Case of the Burqa-ed Busker, The Day After Memorial Day






“Meticulously plotted, but with enough convolutions in the narrative to satisfy the most jaded mystery aficionado, Elias constructs brilliant, snappy and sharp-witted dialog that drives the plot.” Independent Mystery Booksellers Association

“And then there is one-of-a-kind virtuoso Jacobus, perhaps one of the most unique protagonists in mysteries…A musical feast for mystery and music lovers.” Library Journal

“The refreshingly caustic Jacobus, a cast of superbly drawn supporting characters, an interesting classical music milieu accessible to aficionados and neophytes alike, an unexpected twist or two, and a unique murder method combine for an engrossing read.” Publishers Weekly

“…if you enjoy classical music at all (or simply excellent traditional mysteries) this book should not be missed.” Aunt Agatha’s Top 10.

Danse Macabre AUDIO COVER


“Set against a steamy backdrop of summer in New York City, this slow-burn suspense revolves around a stolen violin, a corrupt competition, and a disgruntled ex-virtuoso. Jim Frangione embodies the grizzled music instructor turned gumshoe Jacobus with a cantankerous tone. Violin performances by the author sprinkled throughout provide clues to aid in solving the mystery, which will be appreciated by those musically inclined and provide a pleasant backdrop for those who are not. A solid mystery.” Audiofile
 ‘Reading Devil’s Trill was a nonstop page-turning pleasure. Now that the words are imbued with the author’s beautiful violin playing, this audio version will surely mesmerize.’ World renowned violinist, Cho Liang Lin
Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 12.05.11 PM
“In Elias’s intriguing sixth Daniel Jacobus mystery (after 2016’s Playing with Fire), the blind violinist’s former student Yumi Shinagawa is now adjunct professor of violin at the Kinderhoek Conservatory of Music in New York’s bucolic Cornwall County. Yumi invites Jacobus to the conservatory to conduct a master class during the institution’s annual Going for Baroque festival. Readers will enjoy spending time in the company of the curmudgeonly Jacobus, and many will welcome the absence of fisticuffs, car chases, and Glocks. Jacobus’s blindness adds an interesting angle, with suspects and witnesses classified and identified by the cadence and timbre of their voices.” Publishers Weekly

“Elias is a master storyteller/novelist…[Spring Break is] wonderfully and imaginatively conceived, written and plotted, and is a joy to read.” iBerkshires.com

“A very deftly written murder mystery…guaranteed to please this magazine’s readership.” The Strad magazine

Here’s a sample of the music and reading I think you’ll enjoy: Audio Teaser
Very exciting news! Devil’s Trill, a Mystery in Sonata-Allegro form—with music performed by the author–is now available! You can buy it for yourself, give it as a gift, and even get it for FREE* through this link: http://tinyurl.com/jehpm8u 
Devil’s Trill is the ­first-ever audiobook to integrate musical passages that provide clues to solving the mysteries. Author­ Gerald Elias, a renowned concert violinist, performs the music himself.
Praise for the audiobook of Devil’s Trill:
*with a one-month trial subscription to Audible – at no cost! “



To purchase any of the first quartet of

The Daniel Jacobus Mystery Series  (Click here!)


To orderPlaying With Fire” (Click here!)

Playing With Fire rev

Summer 2016 Release!

In addition to six I’ve written and assortment of short stories that range from the world of music to the wilderness out west, plus essays on various subjects from music to environment.The mystery novels–Devil’s Trill, Danse Macabre, Death and the Maiden, Death and Transfiguration, Playing With Fire, and Spring Break–form the Daniel Jacobus series. The first four were published by St. Martin’s Press, the two most recent with Severn House. Daniel Jacobus is a blind violin teacher as irascible as he is brilliant. Drawn kicking and screaming into mysteries as complex and intriguing as a Bach fugue, Jacobus inevitably gets himself into hot water before solving the whodunit with the aid of his two friends: African American cellist companion, Nathaniel Williams, and former student, Yumi Shinagawa.

In 2009 I was honored by Barnes and Noble, who selected Devil’s Trill for their Discover Great New Writers fall catalog, in which was written: “Rich in music detail and featuring a fabulously roguish cast, Devil’s Trill will delight music lovers and mystery fans alike. Danse Macabre, featuring the same roguish cast, was released in September, 2010.” Danse Macabre was selected by Library Journal as one of their top five mysteries of 2010. Death and Transfiguration, 2012, received three starred reviews. Read what the prestigious international journal, The Strad (April 2010) had to say about the scholarly background to “Devil’s Trill” in regard to famous thefts and forgeries of great violins. Read more about my books and read reviews of Death and Transfiguration, Danse Macabre, Devil’s Trill and Death and the Maiden from the critics, along with interviews and commentary in the blogs. Please visit my Music to Die For page, where you can hear me perform the music mentioned in my novels and read my audio notes on these works.
contact me

To listen to an entertaining interview about the Daniel Jacobus series and hear me perform some of the “title music” live, here’s a link to the syndicated radio show, Highway 89.

You can find some of my short stories in the following fine mystery anthologies and magazines by clicking here on Amazon:



Published Works



Devil’s Trill (2009) Jacobus confronts his personal demons in the form of an accursed Stradivarius violin that’s stolen from a violin competition that preys upon young prodigies. St. Martin’s Press [A Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” Selection]

Danse Macabre (2010) After a beloved, internationally renowned violinist is brutally murdered with an unknown weapon, Jacobus reluctantly proves that the virtuoso’s young rival was not the killer. St. Martin’s Press [Library Journal top 10 mysteries of 2010; Utah Humanities Council Book of the Year in Fiction]

Death and the Maiden (2011) As members of an internationally renowned string quartet mysteriously disappear, Jacobus springs into action when one of them is his former student. St. Martin’s Press

Death and Transfiguration (2012) A murder in a symphony orchestra in turmoil is the backdrop for a battle of wills between Jacobus and the orchestra’s tyrannical conductor. St. Martin’s Press

Playing With Fire (2016 release) A suspicious fire at Ye Olde Violin Shoppe on Christmas Eve leads Jacobus along a perilous trail of death. Severn House

Short fiction:


“Brotherhood” Does a distraught string bass player get away with killing the conductor? (3,753) [Red Dawn, Level Best, 2015]

New England:

“Pea Soup” The famous New England fog is a metaphor for the state of mind of an inbred backwoodsman. (3,415) [Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #14, 2014.]

The Day After Memorial Day” A preternatural experience at the Rockdale Cemetery claims poor Milos Eisitch. (904) [Berkshire Magazine, May/June 2015.]

“Christmas Concerto” Uncle Percy’s demise at a posh senior citizen home is not what it seems. (3,734 words) [Rogue Wave, Level Best, 2014.] Al Blanchard Award Finalist

Where the Buffalo Roam” Monk Hammond’s disappearance coincides with a shindig of politicos on Antelope Island in Utah. (7,708) [Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Fall, 2015.]

“A Student of History” PTSD rationalized. (538) [Kwik Krimes, ed. Otto Penzler, 2013.]

“Snagged” Proud Victor Maravich doesn’t take kindly to betrayal. (524) [Dead Cold, Victoria Dougherty blog, 2013.]




“Resonance” The inestimable value of early exposure to classical music by participating in youth orchestras. (2,000) [Boston Symphony, Spring Feature 2016]
 “Three Musical Monuments: A Performer’s Perspective” A comparison of Schubert’s “Great” C Major Symphony, Sibelius Second Symphony, and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” based upon my performance experiences. (2,000) [Boston Symphony, Fall Feature 2014.]

“Genius for Any Age” An attempt to explain the inexplicable greatness of Mozart’s later symphonies. [Boston Symphony, Spring Feature, March 2015.] (2,262)

“1713-‘La Stravaganza’” Vivaldi’s coming-out party as a composer of virtuoso violin concertos(1,113) [Reichel Arts Review]

“Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Musical DNA” How my experience as a performer in and conductor of this iconic work was influenced by my predecessors who premiered it. (1,511)[Reichel Arts Review]

“Corelli and the Elevator” How the innocuous violin chinrest helped change the course of music history and musical taste. (1,611)[Reichel Arts Review]

“Interpretation, A Case for Broad Perspective” Why an “authentic” performance might not be all that it’s cracked up to be. (2,787) [Reichel Arts Review]

“Labor of Love: A Primer in Symphony Orchestra Musician/Management Relations” Sweet harmony between musicians and management in symphony orchestras…if only. (1,984) [Reichel Arts Review]

“Playing With Perfection: A Week With The ‘Firebird’ Stradivarius” What it feels like to perform on one of the world’s greatest violins. (1,286) [Reichel Arts Review]

“Joshua Rifkin” Interview with the famed, maverick interpreter of Bach. (1,261) [Aesop Magazine, 2013]

“Sir Colin Davis Remembered” A personal reminiscence of the great British conductor. (1,011) [Reichel Arts Review; Berlioz Society Newsletter, 2013]

“Berlioz in Beijing” (601) An examination of the glorious “Symphonie Fantastique’ by Berlioz and what it meant to perform it with the Boston Symphony in China. [Berlioz Society Newsletter, 2014]

“Tanglewood Trails” What it means to me to play with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood every summer. (670) [Berkshire Fine Arts, 2013]

“Well-Traveled Baggage” Behind the scenes of a Boston Symphony concert tour to Asia as seen by a wardrobe trunk. (818) [Berkshire Magazine, July 2014]

Concert and Book Reviews:

“Superb Singing on Display in Utah Opera’s ‘The Rake’s Progress'” Well done production of Stravinsky’ novel opera.[Reichel Arts Review, May 2015; Opera Magazine, August 2015]

“A Delightful Concert by the Meccore Quartet” Review of a fine quartet concert. (642) [Reichel Arts Review]

“A Rare Treat” Review of a concert of all six Ysaye unaccompanied violin sonatas performed by three Utah Symphony violinists. (436) [Reichel Arts Review, January 2015]

A Disappointing Showing” The Brentano Quartet doesn’t live up to its reputation.  (838) [Reichel Arts Review, 2014]

“Isabelle Faust Recital” Review of an interesting program of three 19th century Viennese contemporaries. (1,352) [Reichel Arts Review]

“An Unusual Program, Excellently Done” A review of an unusual program of Russian and Moldavian music on the Nova chamber music series. (772) [Reichel Arts Review, December 2014]

Utah Symphony review. Mixed feelings regarding a mixed program conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. (612) [Reichel Arts Review, 2014]

Utah Symphony review. Strong performances of Nielsen, and Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo” Variations, performed by cellist, Matthew Zalkind. (570) [Reichel Arts Review, 2014]

Whispers of Vivaldi,” book review. A whodunit during the Italian Baroque starring a castrato sleuth. (511) [Publishers Weekly, 2013]


“Address Climate Change or We’ll Be Fighting Tourists for Drink of Water” Utah’s water supply is drying up and bandaids won’t help in the long run. [Op-ed, Salt Lake Trib, 2015]

“A Tank Half Empty” The glut of oil on the market has had unintended consequences, not all of them good. (608) [Op-ed, 2014]

“A Two-Way Road” As we transition to renewable energy, we need to consider what, and who, we’re leaving behind.(601) [Op-ed,2014]

“Crude Reality: North Dakota oil boom has Utah envying its surplus green” The oil boom is raising eyebrows, and frowns, in North Dakota. (368) [Op-ed, 2014]

A response to ‘America’s new role in the oil market’”Drill, Baby, Drill” is short-sighted. (690) [Deseret News, Op-ed, 2014]

“A Case for Fee and Dividend on Carbon Production” Why the argument that ‘science isn’t settled’ should not paralyze us from making urgent decisions. (814) [Op-ed, 2014]

“The Water Cycle and the Democratic Process” Government and the public both have a cyclical responsibility to ensure the future of the water cycle. (523) [Op-ed, 2014]

“Renewable Revolution” Oil will someday go the way of the whale as a source of fuel…and the sooner the better. (400) [Op-ed, 2013]

“Garbage Time” Like love, plastic is forever, but it’s not so nice. (1,167) [Berkshire Fine Arts, 2013]

“The Smoking Brisket Conspiracy” (satire) Everything you need to know, and don’t need to know, about smoking the perfect brisket. (1,413) [Berkshire Fine Arts, 2013]

Book Anthology:

“Umbrian Porchetta” The author’s mouth-watering recipe straight from the porchetta stand in the hill town of Citta della Pieve, Umbria, Italy. [The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook, Quirk Books, 2015]


Symphonies & Scorpions Ramblings of a Musician on the Boston Symphony’s Far East Tour of 2014 (52,671)


Jacobus stories:
“Circle of Fifths” A renowned Russian émigré quartet reaches back into painful memories of Chernobyl. [Adapted from Devil’s Trill](5,153)

“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” A priceless Stradivarius is stolen from an unsuspecting concert violinist. Or is she? (4,998)

“Fool Me Once” A young violinist tries to pull the wool over Jacobus’s eyes and ends up paying a steep price. (1,455)

Music-related short stories:

“The Case of the Burqa-ed Busker” Petty larceny gets a happy-go-lucky busking violin student gets into hot water with MI6. (3,277)

“Lessons from the Master” Paganini’s grand return to the concert stage is thwarted at the last moment by an insistent creditor. (3,307)

“Maestro, the Pot-Bellied Pig” Children’s story about a harp player who has to deal with an unlikely pet. (1,435)

“Taste” A very brief vignette about an audience member’s thoughts during a lengthy symphony performance. (353)

New England short fiction:
“Asparagus” A phone conversation. A knock at the door. (437)

 “Oh, Give Me a Home” What does climate change have to do with the body is discovered with three arrows in it in the Great Salt Lake after thirty years? (11,425)

“Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word” The body of Orson Hardwood is found in a latrine at Horse Thief campground in Utah. Dirty business. (2,266)

“And The Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day” Desperado Lamar Perkins has the tables fatally turned because he didn’t know the territory of Capitol Reef, Utah. (3,623)

“Buffaloed” Beware of nasty, old ladies on Segways when you’re on Catalina Island, California. (2,641)

“Prince of the Leaf Cutters” Pavlovic finds salvation in an ant colony. (5,962)

“Viral” A novel treatment for an untreatable disease. (1,235)

“Yield or Die” Two best friends fight to the death…and then go play. (1,517)

“Overheated” A session in a sauna gets too hot. (937)


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