Underneath, the tale explores the shambolic Italian political landscape as well as the escalating tensions and arrangements between the southern Italian and Nigerian mafia clans. The Trouble with Serpents is set predominantly in Italy, as well as outback NSW, Fiji, Afghanistan, Russia and Poland.
Hiding in plain sight behind the hype of Carnevale in Venice, five mafia families meet to elect a new leader of their combined clans, the Capo di Tutti Capi. Nicholas Delarno has the right to lead, but until recently, everyone thought he was dead. The Commission members are curious and nervous. In a show of leadership Nicholas claims the coveted role, bringing with him a return to the old ways, values and traditions that have stood the family well for decades. Something most of the clan members are keen to embrace after the chaotic leadership of former boss Don Carlo Seta. And they are willing to sacrifice thier misgivings over the new Capo’s missing years to satisfy their self serving needs for secrecy, stability and economic power.
Toni Grant is an Australian author with a love of history and adventure. In 2019 Toni travelled to Italy to research her third book, The Trouble with Serpents. The trip provided a unique opportunity to explore cultural nuances and literally step out locations, lending authenticity to a fictional story line. The Trouble with Serpents is Toni’s third book in the organised crime series. Other books include Serpent Song and Serpent Sting. As well, a number of short stories featuring another female lead, Tannum Friday, have been published online.
Toni has also written two adaptations of the UK youth theatre play, Brainstorm, for the Dubbo based Black Box Theatre company (2018). The play explores the neurological, emotional and societal views of young adults as they navigate the transition from teen to adulthood. In 2016 Toni and a small team created a community mental health project called ‘Pen to Power - Map Your Mind to Recovery’ which focused on a wellness pathways to recovery for everyday people recovering from significant health and mental trauma.
When she’s not writing Toni often has her nose in design and creative spaces — architecture, vintage shops, old machinery, galleries, nature or with pen in hand, mind mapping. Growing up on a sugar cane farm in regional Queensland, Toni has returned to her coastal lifestyle after spending most of her adult life living in Australian outback towns with her husband and two children, their beloved dogs and multitude of farm animals that came with living on the land.
One day, she hopes to sail the Mediterranean with friends and spend a good whack of time exploring all the hidden places.
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