Release Date: 08/05/12
As Sandro gets to grips with the dispiriting realities of life as a private detective, touting for business among old contacts and following errant teenagers, an old case comes back to haunt him...
Once the subject of a routine investigation back in Sandro's early days as an investigator, Loni Meadows - the glamorous, charming and ruthless director of an artistic Trust based in a castle in the hills outside Florence - is found dead in circumstances Sandro cannot convince himself are accidental. However inconvenient his suspicions might be, both to Sandro - whose marriage appears to be disintegrating - and to Meadows's erstwhile employers at the Trust, he presses ahead with the case. And as Sandro attempts to uncover the truth of Loni Meadows's violent and lonely death, he finds himself drawn into the lives of the castle's highly strung community and the closed world they inhabit in the Casentino's isolated hills.
Prior to this book I haven’t read any of Christobel’s work but having two of her works on my TBR pile I thought that I’d best get on with it. What this crime author presents to the reader is a tale that deals more with the nitty gritty than wasting time with descriptive prose which allows you to devote your time to the key matters here.
The writing is crisp, if not a little too sharp in places, the prose reasonable and when you get right into it, the supporting cast feel more like shadows that anything else, although that said, the key players, whilst vague have their emotional aspects out there which, for my money, allows the reader to see themselves in their place. Its quirky, its definitely a marmite type of writing and for me it was a story that I had a lot of fun with working out the clues. All in a decent crime story and one I found worth my time reading.
Release Date: 08/05/12
Florence is deserted. The sluggish Arno and the Ponte Vecchio shimmer in the summer haze. A corpse lies on the roadside, waiting for discovery...
Every August, Florence shimmers in the summer heat. But this year the heatwave is fiercer than usual, and the city's inhabitants have fled to the cool of the hills and beaches of the surrounding countryside. So it is no surprise that amidst the shrubbery of a normally busy roundabout, a corpse lies unnoticed, bloating in the humid air.
Sandro Cellini will not be joining the crowds of holidaymakers this year. The former policeman turned private detective has a case: a man who seems to have vanished into thin air - leaving his pregnant young wife alone in the city. Meanwhile, bankteller Roxana Delfino is also stuck in the city for the season, with nothing to do but worry for her aging mother and puzzle over the disappearance of one her regular clients.
As all Florence sweats it out, Cellini attempts as best he can to grapple with his case and the complications it throws up. And when the weather finally breaks, it brings with it a shocking revelation...
Having just read Christobel’s last title in this series I couldn’t wait to get hold of this next tale, after all I felt that I had a good grip on the characters concerned and of course, thought that I might have a better insight into the authors mind so that I could see where it was all going.
What Christobel does well for me is present a story that requires some thought, misdirecting the reader where required and also presents it in a way that you can quite easily see yourself within the scene without going overly flowery on the language. Its no nonsense writing and whilst some may not be fully enamoured of this style it allows the full attention to be spent upon the solving of the case. It is a tale that has multiple twists, some cracking deductions and of course exposes the seedy underbelly that may leave you feeling a little uncomfortable. Magic.