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Friday 28 June 2019

ℚ A Cloud of Fraud: Claire Bliss [3] - Linda Ferreri

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about A Cloud of Fraud (, Linda Ferreri Trustee, 225 pages), a Mystery Thriller, book three in the Claire Bliss series.

"Inspired by the work of Italian Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli, Cloud of Fraud is a magnificent synergistic creation of literary fiction and art history. Give me more. Highly recommended for art historians who are seeking a mystery to which they can relate." ~ Goodreads review

"This book is a well written mystery and from start to finish you feel you are there with the characters. You can almost Reach out and touch the people as the writer brings each one of the characters to life. This is a must read especially if you enjoy the history of other cultures and the chance to experience a taste of life in big cities and small Italian towns." ~ Verified Amazon Purchase

"a solid read and as educational as it was entertaining. I liked it, and you will too!"
Cy Wyss, author

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Linda Ferreri; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for A Cloud of Fraud?

"A few things inspired me, actually, beginning with all the beauties of le Marche in Italy.  My favorite beauties there are the medieval hill towns.

The beauties include the gorgeous paintings by Carlo Crivelli that I know rather well.  He lived and worked in and around Ascoli Piceno, near the fictitious town of Castello Piceno.
The fictitious town of Castello Piceno wherein the Italian side of the story begins, as portrayed by the author, Linda Ferreri (modelled on the town of Sarnano). 
And I do know quite a lot about art theft.  So, voila!  These stories come to me, as they say."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Quite a bit because I live half the time in this part of Le Marche, and because I am an art historian and a lawyer.  So when I write these stories, I bring a lot of truth to them.

The two novels I wrote before this one, both of them Claire Bliss stories, concern an object called The Crown of the Andes.  It is very real, absolutely amazing, and now belongs to The Metropolitan Museum of Art where visitors adore it—five pounds of gold and Colombian emeralds.  I know more than the reader can possibly imagine about that Crown from personal experiences.  There are plenty more of those from my life coming in future books."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for A Cloud of Fraud - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I love this cover.  The picture is a detail of a masterpiece painted by Carlo Crivelli that hangs now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The subject is Mary Magdalene.  This is one panel from an unknown altarpiece…unknown in the sense that Crivelli painted many of these during his years in Le Marche but they were sold off, entirely and in parts, centuries later.  Fortunately, this panel is in wonderful condition.  I love it.

He was a Venetian artist who moved to Le Marche, and his career is one of the things explained in the novel.  Susan Sontag called him “camp.”  I have always loved his paintings, highly ornamental as they are."
Why should we read A Cloud of Fraud and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"A Cloud of Fraud is what I think of as a “classy mystery/thriller” in that it’s interesting, accurate, but entirely fictitious.  There is plenty to learn from the story while rolling through it.  And it moves, swiftly.  The settings are quite real and beautiful, and the characters are authentic.  I don’t fill my books with sex or violence because there is much more to my stories than that.

There are many wonderful mysteries in print, but I don’t know of others set in Le Marche in Italy, which is one of Italy's most exquisite regions.  It is relatively unknown to tourists.  As for real meaning in the novel, the reader is free to think as deeply as s/he wishes about all of what happens. There are layers.
The grounds around the fictional town of Castello Piceno, le Marche.
On the topic of other books, this is the third novel I have written that features Claire Bliss and her friend in Italy named Baldo.  But each of the novels stands on its own.  It’s an excellent beach, or rainy day read, but some readers have loved keeping it by the bedside.  Claire is in the next novel that is in the typewriter."
"Here's Baldo's view in A Cloud of Fraud. If you read the book, you will understand immediately. Le Marche...a splendid part of the magic." ~ Linda Ferreri
Can you tell us something quirky about A Cloud of Fraud, its story and characters?
"If you know South Philadelphia at all, well then you surely know somebody who “is” Rose Cicarelli.  She’s quite the character in this book.  If/when this story becomes a film, great actresses of a certain age should line up for that part.  You would then know those row houses with their immaculate front steps.  She is a full character.  All of South Philadelphia is full of character."
Who would you recommend A Cloud of Fraud to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend it to all lovers of a good mystery set in Italy, or a good mystery heavily flavored with Italian culture.  There are a few, and we all love those great detectives created by fine mystery writers: Montalbano, Zen, Brunetti, and other Italian detectives.  I love them and there are others who just can’t get enough of them.  This book, however, has an American female amateur sleuth at his side, and really a few steps ahead of him most of the time

There are no disclaimers except that the characters are purely fictitious and any resemblances to others or uses of a name are purely coincidental.  There is a nasty bit of business in City Hall in Philadelphia and, well, every courthouse has its dark spots.  I dislike litigation and it does show.  But I dearly love Philadelphia."

If you could / wished to turn A Cloud of Fraud and the Claire Bliss series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"This IS my dream and here’s why: While writing, I see, hear, watch each character closely.  They are real to me.

I love Helen Mirren, no matter what role she plays, so we might give her the role of Rose but she’d have to wear a wig and change her accent and all of that.  Baldo, the tall serious Italian police captain, is the challenge.  For that role, we need a superman.  Claire is younger, and I see Claire Foy there in blond hair, but there are no British accents in the novel so my beloved British actors would have to morph.

In the case of A Cloud of Fraud, I honestly think that the actors who play these roles could bring huge weight to each one of them and help shape each of the characters forever.  There is lots of room for that.  Rose is special, but the reader doesn’t know that for quite a while.  Sorry, I may have spoiled my own story there!!!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like writing mysteries and I like writing about history, but I don’t write in the genre called historical fiction.  My novels are set in the present, and there is some history education in all of them.

I not only write but I draw and I’ve written several little books (iBooks) that are illustrated whimsy, both written and illustrated by me.  One that I created that is not published was a series of funny caricatures of the royal family of England.

In the past, I wrote several law books but I am very happy to say that those days are behind me.  They were great but writing fiction is a dream-come-true.  Together with a good friend, I wrote a screenplay about two english-speaking women who become friends in Le Marche in Italy."
What is your writing process?
"I write in the daytime, and I prefer a place with a lot of light.  I write in a quiet room. 

My books lean heavily on the characters and their development, so I begin with one of them and follow that one into the adventure.  Then, I confess, I do follow them as they lead me around.  I have to stop here and there and reevaluate the story, looking carefully for plot holes that are so easy to fall into when writing a mystery.  The characters usually then work on to the end which I “find.”

It’s always tempting for me to re-read what I’ve written and begin editing too soon.  I think the writer has to plow ahead while the iron is hot and come back to the i’s and t’s later.  I have to watch that in myself."
What is in store next?
"I have a good mystery novel going now, and it excites me, but I’m stuck in a little bit of crossover business in writing it.  There is a young woman involved.  The story opens with her in Miami.  But we do get to Le Marche in Italy.  I’m enjoying it and hope my readers will."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have two pets whom I adore, one dog and one funny cat, and I am an avid rose gardener.  At my house in Italy, I have a rose garden that I tend like a mother hen.  But I don’t have photo of me with them, I am sorry to say.

I am always at the other end of a pair of scissors.  I grow David Austin English roses and I was deeply saddened by his passing late last year.  He is one of those people who truly made this world a better place.  RIP.  A rose bush might turn up in a forthcoming novel.

David Austin
I am an avid knitter, also, and that played an important role in The Matter of the Crown."
Thank you for sharing! That is definitely quite varied :-) Lots of head-scratches to your two fur-babies!

One man shot at City Hall in Philadelphia, one masterpiece by an Italian renaissance painter missing. One woman on the trail of both.

A Cloud of Fraud
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

I need to read this book! The settings, mentioned by the author in your interview are very familiar to me since I have been to Italy and my son used to live right outside of Philly, so I know I would love reading the descriptions through the author's eyes

BooksChatter said...

Hi Cheryl, I just finished adding a few images to accompany the interview; I hope you enjoy them.