Murder In The Pit

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A photo of Erica Miner

ISBN: 1-60619-110-1
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

In Murder In The Pit, a shy, brilliant young violinist inadvertently becomes the target of a killer when she teams up with a surly but good-hearted detective to solve the high profile murder of a famous opera conductor. In the process, the violinist discovers an opera house rife with secret sexual alliances, lethal rivalries, and life-threatening danger.


On her way to the women’s locker room, Julia passed Abel’s dressing room, where the “Maestro Trudeau - Do Not Disturb” sign was posted on the door. She felt a little flutter of excitement and glanced at her watch.
(Fifteen minutes, and he’ll give the downbeat for my first performance.)
Even with the door closed, she could easily distinguish the raised voices from behind it as Abel and Sidney’s.
“You son of a bitch!”
“For God’s sake, Sidney, keep it down.”
“You said you’d leave her out of it!”
Abel lowered his voice. “I had no choice.”
“Over my dead body.”
Julia couldn’t fathom what caused the personality conflict between the hotheaded Sidney and the self-assured music director. It made her uncomfortable.
(They’re only the two most important men in my life.)
Sid continued at top volume. “If I find out you’ve done something stupid, I’ll ...I’ll write a whole new finale to your opening night!”
“The trouble with you, Sidney, is you think you’re too damned important.” The contempt in the maestro’s voice distressed Julia. “No one is indispensable around here. Now get the hell out of my dressing room. We’ve got a show to do.”
(A whole new finale -- what does that mean?)
The booming sound of the P.A. system made Julia jump.
“Curtain for Don Carlo in fifteen minutes.”
She took a tense breath and let it out with a sigh of relief as the door opened. Sidney stormed out of the dressing room, slamming the door behind him, and ran right into her.
“How long have you been there?”
His dark tone alarmed her. “You know I get concerned when you and Abel -- ”
“Who are you, my mother?”
“What’s going on, Sid? Why were you going at it again?”
“Since when do you answer a question with a question?”
“Since I’m Jewish.” Julia tried to charm him with a smile, but his expression remained grim. “Can’t you two just call a truce already? Please?”
His rage softened. “Look, kid, it’s what parents do.”
“But it’s so distressing.” She attempted a smile. “You’re acting like a jerk.”
Won over, he returned the smile, until Tony disrupted their caring moment.
“Time’s getting short ‘til curtain.” The personnel manager tapped his ubiquitous baton against his palm in short, tense gestures. “You two better hustle.”
Sidney glared at Tony. “Don’t you ever get tired of ordering people around, Rossi?”


Violinist turned author ERICA MINER has had a multi-faceted career as an award-winning author, screenwriter, journalist and lecturer. A native of Detroit, she studied violin with Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Joseph Silverstein at Boston University where she graduated cum laude; the New England Conservatory of Music; and the Tanglewood Music Center, summer home of the Boston Symphony, where she performed with such celebrated conductors as Leonard Bernstein and Erich Leinsdorf. Erica went on to perform with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Company for twenty-one years, where she worked closely with renowned maestro James Levine.

When injuries from a car accident spelled the end of her musical career, Erica drew upon her lifelong love of writing for inspiration and studied screenwriting in New York and Los Angeles with script gurus Linda Seger and Ken Rotcop. Erica’s screenplays have won awards in a number of recognized competitions such as WinFemme, Santa Fe and the Writer’s Digest.

Inspired by journals she wrote during her travel adventures abroad, Erica penned the novel and screenplay of Travels With My Lovers, winner of the Fiction Prize in the Direct from the Author Book Awards. She also has written the feature screenplay and TV Series Bible for FourEver Friends, the first in her journal-based novel series chronicling four teenage girls' coming of age in Detroit in the volatile 1960s, as well as subsequent novel in the series, which are set in Boston and New York. In addition, Erica has written the screenplay of her suspense novel Murder In The Pit, published by Twilight Times Books, which takes place at the Met Opera. Death by Opera, the sequel to this highly successful thriller, was released by the same publisher on May 15, 2018. Another sequel is in the works.

Erica's lectures, seminars and workshops on writing and on opera have received kudos in venues across the West Coast, including the Wagner Societies of New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and Northern California; and on the High Seas, where she was named a top-rated speaker for both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines. Her many topics range from "The Art of Self Re-Invention" to "Journaling for Writers: Mining the Gold of Your Own Experiences”, "Wagner and Bernstein: Parallels and Contrasts" and "Opera Meets Hollywood."

Erica presents regularly for the Osher Lifelong Living Institute at the University of California, San Diego, and in the Seattle area at the Creative Retirement Institute at Edmonds Community College.

Now a well recognized reviewer for Seattle Opera and San Diego Opera, as well as San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Erica is a regular contributor of articles, reviews and interviews to:
- BroadwayWorld BroadwayWorld Articles
- Bachtrack Bachtrack Articles
- LAOpus LAOpus Articles
- Articles
- FINE Magazine

Erica's writings also have appeared in Leitmotive, the magazine of the Wagner Society of Northern California, Italian American Magazine, San Diego Jewish Journal, Del Mar Lifestyle, Opera+ St. Petersburg Music & Art Magazine, Vision Magazine, WORD San Diego, Istanbul Our City, and numerous E-zines.


March 2010
Carlsbad, CA

MURDER IN THE PIT: life behind the "golden curtain"

A young violinist, overwhelmed with excitement, about to embark on a career as a member of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra… A great event, the premiere of a classic production of Verdi’s Don Carlo, about to take place in a high-stakes atmosphere… An audience of refined glitterati, waiting with great anticipation… A leading tenor being placated in the wings… A celebrated maestro on the podium in the orchestra pit… All these elements set the stage for the suspense of Murder In The Pit.

With media attention perennially fixated on the goings-on at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera, thousands of opera lovers worldwide continue to be fascinated with the world of opera. Erica Miner's suspense novel 'Murder In The Pit' gives readers an intimate glimpse into the workings of that rarefied world “behind the golden curtain,” in a book that both they and suspense fans can enjoy. The book, published by Twilight Times Books, has garnered five-star reviews from fans and online critics :

".... Murder In The Pit is an adventure of the imagination, a play within a play. ...[Miner] has recreated in a fascinating operatic world a tangle of plot twists whose intricacies ultimately unravel to reveal the prose of an author who is sure of her skills."
-- Valerio Massimo Manfredi, author of The Ancient Curse (Macmillan Publishers Ltd.), The Ides of March and The Lost Army.

"...As a lover of classical music and a patron of Tanglewood when I was younger, I was extremely happy with all the in-depth knowledge that Ms. Miner has delivered. She was actually a violinist at the Met, so she certainly knows the world of which she speaks. Because of this background, as well as quick-witted writing, Ms. Miner has put together a very solid mystery with a cast of characters who were an absolute joy to read."
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for


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