MALCOLM CRAIG SERIES – volumes 1 and 2 in one book; volumes 3 and 4 in one book.

I have decided to publish volumes 1 and 2 in one book. The book is available as a paper back print and epub. The whole thing could be read as a novel complete in itself. Both novels concern the life and career of famous British tenor. Malcolm Craig, his successful career in Britain, and his three marriages. Read more about all my books at: Fiona Compton’s books.

Just the Echo of a Sigh and Faint Harmony - 2 novels in one volume

Dec 22, 2015
I was glad to see these two volumes combined in one book as they could be read as a complete book without reading volumes 3 and 4. Fiona Compton has made no secret of the fact that all 4 volumes in the Malcolm Craig series are combinations of Roman a clef and biographical/autobiographical novels. The first two novels are based on her own research about Malcolm Craig and Marina Dunbar in the years of their illustrious lives and theatrical careers until 1956 before she met them, although parts of these books are pure fiction, while other parts are largely true.
She has succeeded in creating the atmosphere of the early part of the twentieth century, World War Two and the immediate post war years as they relate to Malcolm and Marina’s lives and careers. I recommend this interesting double novel featuring the lively lives and careers of Fiona Compton’s fictional heroes – Malcolm and Marina.
Jean Collen

The last two novels in the Malcolm Craig series combined in one book:

The last two novels in the Malcolm Craig series combined in one book.
The last two novels in the Malcolm Craig series combined in one book.
Combined last print

 Review:

Once again, volumes 3 and 4 of the Malcolm Craig series could be read as one novel. Most of it is set in South Africa to where Malcolm Craig and Marina Dunbar move in 1956 after problems with the British Inland Revenue. Their lives have taken a new direction in a new country. Their marriage is no happier than it was for many years in the UK, and Kate Kyle (the fictional name for Fiona Compton herself) now writes her Roman a Clef/autobiographical novel largely from her own experience, although there are still many fictional elements in the story. In many ways, the idea of Kate and Malcolm having an affair when she is in her late teens, and Malcolm is married, and 42 years older than her, might seem like a shocking state of affairs. The story held my interest and the conclusion to the saga is satisfactory (depending on your point of view) although it is possible that Fiona Compton used her imagination rather than fact to reach this conclusion.

I found Love Set to Music most interesting. Neither Kate Kyle nor Malcolm Craig are covered in glory and some might consider their spring/winter relationship unseemly even over fifty years later. They obviously felt deeply for one another and Malcolm Craig’s wife, Marina Dunbar, was not without blame. I sincerely hope that the final novel will reach a satisfactory conclusion otherwise the emotion generated by the affair which changed the life of Kate Kyle/Fiona Compton radically without bringing her lasting happiness would have been a meaningless waste of time.

The final novel in the Malcolm Craig series, A Song for You and Me, held my interest even more than the three earlier books as this final novel reaches a conclusion to the tale.

Like the Christmas Special which concluded the long-running Downton Abbey, the end of Fiona Compton’s novel reaches a satisfactory resolution although the finale of the Malcolm Craig series is merely implied, rather than described in graphic detail. One is left to imagine what happens to Malcolm, Kate, and Marina in the years that follow.

Somehow I doubt whether the conclusion of this series of novels is the way the tale ended in reality, but perhaps that is why Fiona Compton chose to present it as a work of fiction rather than fact.

Jean Collen

Both books are available as paperbacks and as epubs. Have a look at Fiona’s Store – Fiction with a musical theme

All the cover photos in the series are by Errol Collen.

Fiona Compton.

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A SONG FOR YOU AND ME – FOURTH AND FINAL NOVEL IN THE MALCOLM CRAIG SERIES.

I completed writing A Song For You and Me during the NaNoWriMo month of November 2015.This is the final novel in the Malcolm Craig series. It is available as a paperback print and an Epub.

Paperback: A Song for You and Me

 

Epub: A Song for You and Me

Reviews

I have finished reading the final novel in the Malcolm Craig series and it held my interest as much as the three earlier books, perhaps even a little more than the previous books as the final novel reaches a conclusion to the tale.

Like the Christmas Special which concluded the long-running Downton Abbey, the end of Fiona Compton’s novel reaches a satisfactory resolution.The finale of the series is merely implied, rather than described in graphic detail and one is left to imagine what happens to Malcolm, Kate, and Marina in the years that follow.

Somehow I doubt whether the end of the series is the way the tale ended in reality, but perhaps that is why Fiona Compton chose to present it as a work of fiction rather than fact.

Jean Collen – 14 January 2016.

 

Pearl Harris's review
Pearl Harris is a highly-respected freelance writer, editor, proofreader and translator who lives and works in the Czech Republic. Her website is: Pearl Harris

 

 

A random sample from the book:

Marina

I was rather surprised when Steve Baxter phoned to ask me if I would
be a guest on his radio programme in a few day’s time. Considering how devoted he was to Helen and how studiously he had avoided me since our affair and our ill-fated holiday together the year before, I was amazed that Helen had allowed him to ask me to do such an interview.
 “Do you think that is a good idea, considering our history, Steve?” I asked.
 “I know it might be rather uncomfortable for us, Marina, but this isn’t my idea. My boss was quite insistent about it and I could hardly refuse without causing unpleasantness. Please, Marina – we’re both professionals. I’m sure we can handle this without any discomfort, can’t we? You might bring in one of Malcolm’s recordings to play on the programme. There wouldn’t be any doubt that you are both committed
to your marriage, just as I am committed to my marriage with Helen. After all, the programme only lasts for fifteen minutes.”
“I had better ask Malcolm first, Steve. He might not approve. I’ll
phone you tonight after I’ve spoken to him.”
As I expected, Malcolm didn’t care one way or the other whether I
did the interview or not.
 “It’s entirely up to you, Marina,” he said coldly. “I still think it’s a shame that you didn’t run off with Steve Baxter when you had the chance. We might all be feeling much happier by now if you had.”
 “By all, I suppose you are including Katie,” I replied. “Why do you have to be so mean to me all the time, Malcolm?”
“I’m not being mean, just stating the exact truth. Go and do the
interview with him. You don’t need my permission to do that or any other damned thing you please.”
“So you wouldn’t care if I decided to have an affair with someone
else?” I asked.
“Why should I? Have you someone else in mind?”
“You might be surprised to hear that I do have someone in mind,
someone who treats me far better than you do.”
“Well go ahead and enjoy yourself. See if I care.”
He marched out of the room leaving me feeling quite miserable, but
angry at the same time. I picked up the telephone. It was Helen who answered in obsequious tones, “The Baxter residence,” she simpered.
“Is Steve there?” I asked without any preliminary greeting.
“Who shall I say is calling?” she asked – as though she didn’t know!
“Marina Dunbar,” I replied coldly. “I would have thought you might
have recognised my voice, Helen.”
She didn’t answer but I heard her calling Steve in thin tones.
“Phone for you, darling…”
 “Malcolm has agreed that I can do the interview,” I told him. “What time do you want me at the studios?”
Surprisingly the interview went better than I expected it to. We
chatted about this and that and ended the interview with Malcolm’s recording of One Day When We were Young. “Thank you, darling,” I said in sugary tones when it finished. I was surprised at how I could put on such an act when I was feeling entirely fed up with my unsatisfactory life.
The only person who was cheering me up these days was our singing
pupil, Brandon Black, who thought the world of me and was willing to do
anything possible to please me. In a way he reminded me of Harry, although there was no question of going to bed with him at this stage. I was twelve years older than him, and although I knew he thought the world of me for the moment it was better to be good friends without the complications a sexual relationship usually brings.
I returned to the studio immediately after the broadcast. Malcolm
was having a rest before the next pupil arrived. There was a faint smell of
perfume in the air over-riding the usual smell of his stale cigarette tobacco.
“Did you listen to my broadcast?” I asked.
“Yes! Very well done,” he said absently.
“Who was in the studio while I was away?” I asked sharply.
“Nobody. What makes you think there was someone here? I had a sandwich and then I had a bit of a rest and listened to your interview.”
I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him. The next pupil was due any
moment and I didn’t want to upset myself by asking if Kate had been in to see him because she knew I would be at the radio studios and had taken any
opportunity to be with him. I let it go, but my suspicions remained.

Fiona Compton 
28 November 2015