A good detective story taking place in a beautiful part of Italy is a real treat for people who enjoy reading crime mysteries and also happen to love Italy. Use this website to find out more about the locations, the lifestyle and the food and the wine experienced by the characters created by your favourite authors.



An Aurelio Zen mystery by Michael Dibdin

Michael Dibdin’s third Zen novel is set in Rome and begins with the death of a man inside the Basilica of Saint Peter during Mass.

A body plummets to the ground from high up in the great dome of the church and ends up on the marble floor in front of all of the worshippers.

Zen is asked to investigate the circumstances by the Vatican to ensure they are seen to be open and fair and are not just accepting the convenient theory that the man was committing suicide.

But getting the answers he needs isn’t easy after one witness after another is silenced before he can talk to them by violent death.

Knowing himself to be under threat, Zen has to penetrate a sinister, secret organisation known as the Cabal in order to save his own skin and put an end to the killings.

Dibdin starts the book in Rome and then Zen travels by train to Milan and you can tell you are in a different city when he gets off the train, that’s how good his settings are.

He puts in details about contemporary life in Rome in that period, including the disruption caused by extending the metro, that make the reader feel they are living through it with Zen.

Towards the end of the book a lot of the action takes place in the Galleria in Milan and his sharp observations about the architecture, shops and restaurants makes you feel you are living in that period in the city.

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