A year later, three people converge on a secluded Italian coastal idyll. None of them is on holiday: the Hon. Veronica Dearborn (previously encountered in The Mischief-Maker) has refused to sell the film rights of her notorious memoir, and escapes London and her unscrupulous agent on a commission to interview J. Cadwallader Jones, the eccentric widower of a famous mystery novelist. Her old friend, food-writer Freddy Partridge, is on a working vacation, and hoping his Uncle Cadwallader is not spending all his inheritance. Julian Blyth, an injured orchestral violinist, has come to settle the estate of his late brother.
Welcomed and feted at first by the tight-knit ex-pat community, the three visitors quickly realise they have stepped on a nest of vipers, and Julian begins to have doubts that his brother's death was the accident it seemed.
A sophisticated satire, Circled By The Sands displays the ex-pat middle-classes at their hilariously appalling worst. Monte Farfalla is home to a community with little in common apart from its mother-tongue, driven by competition, jealousy, gossip, greed and bickering. When faced with threat from outside, however, they close ranks...