Meet An Eccentric in Lucca...

 
 
 
 
 
 

This story is the first volume in a series about the Contessa di Capezzani-Batelli.  Despite the Italian name, she's actually English, but has adopted Italy as her native land. 

She is an alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and is a highly gifted pianist. Her late husband, the Count, was a vocal coach at both the Istituto Musicale Luigi Boccherini in Lucca and - as a political refugee from the political unrest in Italy before the Second World War - at the Royal Academy in London.  The Contessa has had more than her fair share of personal sorrow and tragedy, but is as resilient as she is somewhat eccentric.  She bounces back with a positive outlook and is often an inspiration to others.

When she was still Penelope Strachan, during the dark days of the Second World War, she was "found" by a young Irish girl of her own age in the tea room on Waterloo Station. As mistress and maid, the two have the deepest respect for each other, but that does not mean that they get on well at all times.  The same could be said of the relationships between the maid - Elizabeth or, as she has always persisted in calling herself, Elzeebit - and the succession of the Contessa's pet Maltese poodles.  The fifth and current occupant of the chewed cushion in the Contessa's Music Room - Carlo Quinto - is no exception to this sad record and tolerates Elzeebit with as much disdain and as little patience as she does him.

The Contessa, now in her late seventies, has been running her Chamber Opera Group of Lucca - COGOL - for many years.  The Group's concerts, which are always performed with the utmost professionalism by this dedicated group of amateurs, are always staged to raise funds for one or other charity. The truth is that almost all of the Contessa's singers have some flaw in their characters, not least of which is jealousy.  This does not stop the Contessa from considering them as her "Angels", due to the fact that they make such heavenly music together.

The first title in the An Eccentric in Lucca series, ERRANT ANGELS, has already been published in hardback by The Book Guild. The novel is also available in e-book formats and through Barnes & Noble in the United States.

The second title in this series, FEELINGS OF GUILT, was published in November, 2014.

The third novel in the series, FAMILY CONCERNS, is also now complete and awaiting the attention of a publisher.