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Saturday, 24 June 2017

'Family Concerns' by Stuart Fifield

Published by The Book Guild,
28 April 2017.  
ISBN 978-1-911320-50-0
I thought this was an unusual book.  I had not read the preceding adventures of the group in Lucca but I now feel they would be interesting.  The book is from multiple viewpoints as the author looks at individual stories of the members of this group and their dependants and at the practical benevolence of the Contessa di Capezzani- Botelli and her son, Luigi.    

To retrace the development of the tale - the Contessa runs an amateur group that does musical performances in Lucca.  The group is the Chamber Opera Group of Lucca (COGOL) and it has as some of its members a diva, Renata di Sena, Juliette Canmore, suffering a midlife crisis, Amilcare Luchetti  and his wife, Tito Viele whose wife has had a serious brain injury and whose memory is badly affected and Ricardo Fossi who is dealing with people very much on the wrong side of the law.  The experiences of these and other people forms the material of the book with the kindness of the Contessa as the centre of action.

In crime terms the newly promoted policeman, Inspector Conti, is trying to discover the man who has attacked and killed several women; his computer-savvy sergeant Pascoli, offers aid that the Inspector is initially reluctant to accept.  The criminal element is just part of a rich tapestry of characters and events.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the third adventure for the Contessa in Lucca.

Stuart Fifield was born in Islington, North London and spent his early years in Uganda and Kenya, where his father was a Civil Servant. Following Kenyan Independence, he moved with the rest of his family first to the Seychelles, and then to Australia and, finally, to South Africa where Stuart finished his education and obtained a Master of Music degree from the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town. He followed a career as a concert soloist in oratorio and opera, singing baritone repertoire, as well as studying both piano and the clarinet. Today he is the Musical Director of the East Grinstead Concert Band and plays euphonium in the Wadhurst Brass Band. Returning to the United Kingdom from Cape Town in 1990, he established and developed, as co-owner, a successful interior design consultancy in Kent. He then went on to become a web page designer, before qualifying as a Music teacher. During his teaching career, he taught several other subjects, including English, History and Drama. In addition, he was actively involved in teaching pupils who had English as a foreign language, as well as pupils with learning difficulties. He lives with his partner and two Burmese cats in East Sussex and is fortunate enough to be able to divide his time between writing, performing and travelling. Stuart is a regular visitor to Italy and to Egypt.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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