Joseph Anthony

Selected Works

Fact-based fiction
This true story is about a simple man convicted of a murder he did not commit.
Fairy Tales traditionally start with “Once upon a time” whereas just about all police stories begin with “And this is no sh*t….” and this compilation of stories of a cop’s life in the City of Baltimore is no sh*t!
Fiction
Wealth, sex, international intrigue and revenge permeate this book filled with exciting and memorable characters.
Quincy Peters loses his home but then rises to power and influence in the Nation’s Capital.

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The Last Etude

Excerpt


With last magnificent chords of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto still vibrating through her finger tips, Brianna Corelli gently flicked back her long auburn hair and sat up straight. She looked over at Bruno Seidman, the aging, irascible but brilliant conductor, and gently smiled as she nodded at him. As the cheers rang through Carnegie Hall, Bruno smiled back at Brianna, bowed slightly and gently tapped his open left hand with the baton in a silent acknowledgement of the thundering applause heralding her brilliance.

Brianna stood up, bowed to the conductor and then to the audience as she scanned the front row, looking for her husband’s familiar handsome face. Brent Halliday smiled and waved at his wife, clapping politely along with the hundreds of people in the audience who were rising to their feet. With a smile at Brent, Brianna walked across the stage, held out her hand to Bruno and lightly pecked him on the cheek. Bruno bowed and returned her kiss with a beaming smile before bowing again to the audience. He looked at Brianna and said quietly, “That was magnificent. We made history tonight…there has never been and will never again be such a perfect performance of the 5th. Thank you for sharing it with me.” Brianna hugged him and then walked over to the first violinist, who rose as she approached him.

She shook his hand, kissed him lightly on the cheek and then bowed to the orchestra before turning back to the audience with a sweeping gesture to include the orchestra in the evening’s triumph. Brianna moved off the stage but the continuing thunderous applause brought her back to acknowledge the audience’s adulation. A young woman came onto the stage and handed her a huge bouquet of red roses, which Brianna held to her bosom before bowing again to the audience as cheers rang out anew.

Eventually she got back to her dressing room and was able to sit and relax for a few minutes. There was a tap at the door and Brent strode in. He kissed Brianna lightly and said “That was great, darling, just great! Wonderful performance!” As Brianna murmured her thanks, Brent continued, “I’m glad to see that all those hours of practice paid off.”

Brianna looked at him in astonishment but as she was framing a reply, there came another tap on the door and Jules Hemmingway, the concert promoter’s thin and lanky assistant, entered. “Miss Corelli, the limo is outside and ready to take you to the Astoria for the after-concert party. Can I carry anything down for you? We need to leave quickly to avoid getting snarled up in traffic. Is that alright?”

With a quick curious glance at Brent, Brianna gathered her wrap and made her way through the backstage area and out to the limo, torn between pleasure at sharing her triumph with the patrons of the orchestra and the very real need to get back to their apartment on 5th Avenue and relax with a chilled glass of wine.

Settled into the warmth and comfort of the limo and feeling the expensive leather seating molding itself to her body as she relaxed, Brianna thought back to how it had all happened. How does a beautiful 29 year old woman become an Internationally-acclaimed artist in the immensely challenging world of concert music? Even now, at the height of her fame and success, the shy 5 year old daughter of a rich Italian owner of numerous olive groves and even more wineries still peeked out. The Count’s duckling had developed into a most glorious swan and Brianna still had trouble dealing with her incredible musical talent. It was almost too much for a young woman who had grown up in a small Tuscan town where everyone and everything was known and familiar and where America, and New York in particular, were places to be seen on television or at the movies but never to be visited. What had happened?

As the celebrated pianist stepped from the stage, the exquisitely dressed dark handsome man in the Armani evening clothes leaned back with satisfaction. He thought about Brianna Corelli and how he had followed her career for years, collecting every CD she had made. He had paid heavily for an excellent seat at the concert this evening and, he reflected, it was worth every cent. What a performance she had given this evening and he forgot for the moment the reason for his obsession with her. He smiled to himself; fancy becoming a “groupie” at his age and for a concert pianist at that, but the inner turmoil reasserted itself as he rose to his feet and joined the procession of patrons shuffling towards the aisle. He thought about the past and, as a wave of fury passed through him, he clenched his fists before regaining control. This was neither the time nor the place to draw attention to himself. His thoughts retuned to Brianna and the waiting reception, and his inner conflicts. He sighed and reluctantly admitted to himself that when a man intervened with fate, he could not complain about the outcome.

Baron Alesander de Castenado thought yet again about Don Corelli and his beautiful and extremely elegant wife Katerina. He had met them several years previously, at some diplomatic reception when magnates throughout Europe had been invited to participate in the first dialogues with what eventually became the Russian Federation. He had enjoyed meeting and chatting with the urbane couple from Tuscany. As always happens at such functions, the ultra-rich gravitated towards each other without a word being spoken, an invisible, unacknowledged but inexorable magnetism at work. Very quickly, Don Corelli and Baron Alesander de Castenado found that they had a number of mutual business interests. Although they did not become personal friends, the two men did form a successful, highly profitable and mutually beneficial relationship over the years. At one of their rare face-to-face meetings, an idle comment elicited the information that Alesander, despite being a Basque nobleman, actually had strong ties with France. Further, both Alesander and his younger brother had associations with the French Security Services, although Alesander’s interactions were now several years in the past. “And your brother, he has retired too?’” asked Don Corelli. “Alas, not willingly,” sighed Alesander. “I do not understand,” said Don Corelli.

“He was involved in a very recent operation, I believe with the CIA or some other American agency, and he was sacrificed, as the say, for the good of the operation,” was the laconic response.

“I am very sorry to hear that. Can anything be done?”

“Not officially and maybe not now but one day, of that I can assure you.”

Don Corelli suppressed the cold shiver that passed through him. This Baron de Castenado was obviously a very serious man and one to be feared if he became your enemy. He filed the information away. One never knew when one might need the help of a man such this.