Forget altos, contraltos and sopranos in heat. Opera is for wimps - even if it gives you a chance to tart yourself up. A la Cooper it's about undressing too, of course, though this isn't her usual racy romp that will see you through steamy candlelight bath times without getting a page wet. It's a wordy, weighty discourse about the filming of Verdi's Don Carlos in a spooky 14th century abbey called Valhalla in the heart of her favoured Rutshire. Even if you're only semi tone-deaf, you'll want to nod off here, which is why the foreplay begins with giddy characterisation that is presumably tongue-in-cheek.

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Sir Robert Rannaldini, the most successful but detested conductor in the world, had two ambitions: to seduce his ravishing nineteen-year-old stepdaughter Tabitha Campbell-Black, and to put his mark on musical history by making the definitive film of Verdi's darkest opera, Don Carlos.

As Rannaldini, Tristan, his charismatic French director, a volatile cast and bolshy French crew gather at Rannaldini's haunted abbey for filming, it is inevitable that violent feuds, abandoned bonking, temperamental screaming, and devious plotting will ensue. But although everyone wished Rannaldini dead, no one actually thought the Maestro would be murdered. Or that after the dreadful deed some very bizarre things would continue to occur.

Jilly Cooper. Jilly Cooper is a journalist, author and media superstar. The author of many number one bestselling novels, she lives in Gloucestershire with her rescue racing greyhound, Bluebell. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Gloucestershire and Anglia Ruskin and appointed CBE in for services to literature and charity.

I pressed bravely on nonetheless, and found with surprise that Score! Our Lists. Buy from…. View all online retailers. One of the glorious Rutshire Chronicles. Read more. Also by Jilly Cooper. Praise for Score! Related titles. The Handmaid's Tale. To Kill A Mockingbird.

A Gentleman in Moscow. Echo Burning. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Dragonfly In Amber. The Girl on the Train. The Heart's Invisible Furies. Tiger Men. The Bear and The Nightingale. The Cedar Tree. Norwegian Wood. Animal Farm. The Trip of a Lifetime. Ready Player One. The Light Between Oceans. Maybe the Horse Will Talk. The Yield. Subscribe to Read More to find out about similar books. Sign up to our newsletter using your email. Enter your email to sign up.

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Rutshire Chronicles

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Score! by Jilly Cooper, Bantam Press. 593pp, £16.99 in UK

The Rutshire Chronicles is a series of romantic novels by Jilly Cooper. The stories tell tales of mainly British upper-class families, as well as the show-jumping and polo crowd, in numerous different sexually charged scenarios, often laced with adultery , illegitimate children, scandal , and sometimes, even death. They are linked by several recurring characters , chiefly Rupert Campbell-Black , and are set in the fictional English county of Rutshire, not to be confused with the real English county of Rutland. Some of these characters, namely Campbell-Black and numerous characters associated with him, also occur in Cooper's novel Pandora , although it is not part of the series [ citation needed ].

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