SONG OF THE FLUTIST
In the golden age of the Etruscans in central Italy, wealth, wisdom and artistic beauty abound. Gods, ancestors, prince-priests, augurs, artisans and servants all have stories to tell. Amidst pestilence, tyranny, deceit and murder, sophisticated Etruria thrives.
Magnificent temples, sumptuous dwellings and roads with arched bridges dot the landscape. Men revere women. Women own property. Couples eat together at banquets wearing fashionable tunics and stylish leather shoes, while the rest of the cosmos goes barefoot.
Family patriarch Vel the Soil Sampler, traipses high mountains to discover precious rocks and minerals, filling the coffers of competitors Zilath of Tarchna and Maru of Cisra.
Wise Anneia the Healer, risks her life to cure the sick with herbs and poultices.
Wanton beauty, obsessive Noblewoman Arith, connives to win fame and fortune.
Noble child Venu's fate is sealed when he is caught aboard a merchant ship that sails to Eastern Mediterranean ports.
Neglected homemaker, wife and mother, Noblewoman Risa's destiny is steered by a haruspex, a tomb painter and The Flutist.
Throughout their lives, The Great Prediction, prophecy of what will happen to Etruria, clouds them. With hope for eternal contentment, the richest build opulent tombs. Yet, at death, it is the mysterious Flutist who must guide them on their journey to the afterlife.
Published: Nov. 10, 2010
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An explosion in an Etruscan tomb sends renowned archeologist Montgomery Adams into an Italian hospital, seriously burned and comatose. His daughter, Amanda Oliver, a cultural arts historian and quasi-archeologist, rushes from San Francisco to his bedside. Simultaneously, the mysterious disappearance of Montgomery's assistant and lover, Joanna, brings her brother, lichenologist Trent Winston, to Orvieto. While the police are stalling the investigation, Amanda is chased, threatened, abducted and framed as she attempts to find the culprits herself. Stumbling into the complex world of obsessed archeologists, greedy collectors and murderous tomb robbers, Amanda learns they all seek a priceless, exquisite third sarcophagus of the Married Couple. Someone thinks Amanda knows where it is, and that someone wants her dead.
Published: May 5, 2005
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