Paganini – showman, womaniser, dazzling virtuoso – is one of the most fascinating characters in the history of classical music. His violin is now kept in Genoa, where it is played once every two years by the winner of an international competition. This year, an unsavoury art dealer is found dead in his hotel room the day after the concert. Clutched in his fist is a scrap of sheet music torn off a page that belongs to the competition winner. But how did the dead man get hold of it? And why? The police ask for violinmaker Castiglione to help them unravel a mystery that has gone unanswered for over a century.