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Isabel Rogers writes poetry and fiction, but never on the same day. She won the 2014 Cardiff International Poetry Competition, was Hampshire Poet Laureate 2016, and her debut collection, Don't Ask, came out in 2017 (Eyewear). Life, Death and Cellos is her first novel to be published. She had a proper City job before a decade in the Scottish Highlands, writing and working in the NHS. She now lives in Hampshire, laughs a lot, and neglects her cello. She is on Twitter @Isabelwriter. More info on her website: isabelrogers.org.
A gentle (well, apart from the occasional brawl and scuffle), amusing mystery focusing on an orchestra who with good intentions, invite two local schools to join them. The two very different schools have never mixed, and when things start to go missing, accusations aren’t too far around the corner. Add to the mix a dash of romance, an off duty Detective Chief Inspector, a famous composer, plenty of gossip after practice at the pub and you have an enjoyable read in your hands. This is book two in The Stockwell Park Orchestra Series however I joined here and felt entirely comfortable doing so. Isabel Rogers balances the music know-how with more than a whiff of mystery. The characters are bright and engaging, or occasionally downright dastardly. Bold as Brass is an entertaining read, light-hearted it may be, it is also capable of provoking thoughts too.
When Stockwell Park Orchestra goes on tour to Europe, it proves a challenge for even the most efficient German logistical planner. A teenage stowaway, brass players falling in canals and a sabotaged timpani van are all in a day's work for Sigrid Bauer of Note Perfect Tours, but even she can't solve all the problems this week throws at her. Maybe a bit of surprise Bach can calm the muddy Brexit waters. She just has to fish out the musicians first.
Classical music can be a dangerous pastime... What with love affairs, their conductor dropping dead, a stolen cello and no money, Stockwell Park Orchestra is having a fraught season. After Mrs Ford-Hughes is squashed and injured by a dying guest conductor mid-concert, she and her husband withdraw their generous financial backing, leaving the orchestra broke and unsure of its future. Cellist Erin suggests a recovery plan, but since it involves their unreliable leader, Fenella, playing a priceless Stradivari cello which then goes missing, it's not a fool-proof one. Joshua, the regular conductor, can't decide which affair to commit to, while manager David's nervous tic returns at every doom-laden report from the orchestra's treasurer. There is one way to survive, but is letting a tone-deaf diva sing Strauss too high a price to pay? And will Stockwell Park Orchestra live to play another season? What people are saying about Life, Death and Cellos: I was charmed... a very enjoyable read. Marian Keyes Life, Death and Cellos is a witty and irreverent musical romp, full of characters I'd love to go for a pint with. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Stockwell Park Orchestra and can't wait for the next book in the series. Claire King, author of The Night Rainbow Life, Death and Cellos is that rare thing - a funny music book. Rogers knows the world intimately, and portrays it with warmth, accuracy and a poetic turn of phrase. Sharp, witty and richly entertaining. Lev Parikian, author of Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? With its retro humour bordering on farce, this novel offers an escape into the turbulent (and bonkers) world of the orchestra. Isabel Costello, author of Paris Mon Amour Dodgy post-rehearsal curries, friendly insults between musicians, sacrosanct coffee-and-biscuit breaks, tedious committee meetings: welcome to the world of the amateur orchestra. Throw in a stolen Stradivarius, an unexpected fatality and the odd illicit affair and you have Life, Death and Cellos, the first in a new series by Isabel Rogers. Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine ...a very funny tale of musical shenanigans set in the febrile atmosphere of the Stockwell Park Orchestra Ian Critchley