The Devil’s Tune
A Novel of Music, Murder and Revenge
Author: Fran Kempton
Publisher: Chetwynd Books
Fran Kempton is a reclusive writer fleeing from the clutches of Jane Austen. She has an obsession with Italy. This is the first book in an Italian trilogy.
Naples 15—Carlo Gesualdo, prince and composer, murders his wife and her lover in the palace of San Severo. The murders cause a sensation throughout the courts of Europe.
The deed is witnessed by the wife’s devoted maidservant, Laura Scala, who vows revenge on the prince. Laura’s own troubled past haunts her as she travels from Sicily to Venice and back to Naples pursuing the strange prince and his cursed household.
She follows him as he goes north to marry a second wife, stopping in Venice where a gondolier rescues her from drowning and eventually marries her. Laura finds work as a servant in the Ghetto with the fiery Sarah da Costa before tragedy strikes again.
Returning to Naples she meets and befriends the artist Caravaggio and together they travel to the prince’s castle in Gesualdo. The artist paints a ‘musical’ portrait and Laura, unrecognized, bides her time.
Will she succeed in her plan to avenge her mistress or will fate intervene again? Was Gesualdo’s death planned or simply a strange accident – and who was really responsible? Even when Laura and her daughter travel to the New World, Gesualdo’s dark shadow hovers near.