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Alessandra Comini

Alessandra Comini is University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at SMU. A vibrant lecturer in both English and German, she is in demand in America and abroad as a speaker in her chosen fields of art and cultural history as well as musical iconography.

Celebrated for decades for her essays and books on art history and music, one of which was nominated for the National Book Award, Dr. Comini is lately the author of the Megan Crespi series of mystery novels, centered on a dynamic, delightful art historian who is as adept as crime solving as curation. She joins us for the launch of the latest in the series, THE MAHLER MAYHEM, and will personalize and sign copies of the book after what is sure to be a lively chat about fictional murder and real-life escapades in art history.


During a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera there is an explosion in the foyer just off the auditorium. Auguste Rodin's famous 1909 bronze bust of composer/conductor Gustav Mahler has been blown up and a hate-filled note has been left at the scene demanding that there be "no more Jews defiling our culture." Retired art historian/musicologist Megan Crespi, in Vienna to lecture, is at the performance with her former student, the renowned cellist Egga Streicher. She is asked by her friend, Chief of Police Erich Decker, to help track down the culprit. Soon copycat vandalism of Jewish monuments around the city breaks out. Things come to a horrendous climax during a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony, the "Resurrection" symphony, but is it the only surprise awaiting Megan Crespi's dangerous investigation?


Voted “outstanding professor” by her students sixteen times, Dr. Comini has been extended the Distinguished Teaching Prize of the Meadows School of the Arts and the United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award (1996). She received her B. A. degree from Barnard College, her M. A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. with distinction from Columbia University, where she taught for ten years. She has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, served as the Alfred Hodder Resident Humanist at Princeton University, and was named Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Oxford University‘s European Humanities Research Centre. Contact her via

Wednesday, May 22nd, 7:00PM
Event address: 
10720 Preston Road
Ste 1009B
Dallas, TX 75230
The Mahler Mayhem: A Megan Crespi Mystery Series Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632932471
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Sunstone Press - March 12th, 2019