(2017) Endeavour Press

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I’ve taken part in many painting courses over the years. And for years I’ve thought what an enticing subject for a comedy or even tragedy – let’s call it black comedy. A group of strangers are gathered together in daily intimacy in some beauty spot round the world. ‘Illusion’ is a novella, set in a villa among the hills of Tuscany. Up in the woods the boars are bellowing and down in the Villa Cinghiale, a very odd collection of people gather to be inspired by Inigo, the artist in resident. The artist in residence is not exactly ordinary himself with his dangling silver curls and his huge sandals but he has to compete with an ex-prisoner, an undercover policeman occasionally in drag, a sybilline Japanese professor, a sleek Texan looking for a third husband – to mention only a few of the cast of characters. It all starts, as these things will, when the young girl cook disappears, and continues when a body – whose body? – is found.

I wrote Illusion on a brief sabbatical from writing Whirligig, my WW11 follow-up to Glory. Whirligig will be finished soon. Meanwhile Illusion is published online by Endeavour Press available from Amazon Kindle and other eBook retailers. In December a paperback will also be available, printed on demand.