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.


Dead Lagoon

An Aurelio Zen mystery by Michael Dibdin

Returning to his native Venice to work on a case proves to be an emotional experience for Zen.

He moves into his old family home, which has been left empty for years, but finds it disturbing to meet up with former friends and neighbours and confront his past. The cold weather and the bleakness of the old house echo his mood. 

He is haunted by memories of his father, who disappeared while fighting in Russia during the war, but is still remembered and spoken about by an old man living nearby.

Zen is unofficially working on the disappearance of a rich American who had taken up residence in Venice, but to provide himself with a cover story and a plausible reason for being there, he takes it upon himself to look into complaints made by an elderly Venetian aristocrat that her palazzo is continually being broken into by people trying to frighten her.

He finds romance with the attractive daughter of one of his mother’s old friends, which helps to make his life more bearable as he goes about his business in a city whose every canal, alleyway and bridge he can remember intimately, despite having been away for so long.

While telling the story, Dibdin takes the reader on a very special tour of Venice, demonstrating his own deep knowledge and appreciation of the city.

As usual Zen has to put himself at risk and work outside the law and without the help of the police service to try to bring the true criminals and wrongdoers to justice at the end of a story that is both well told and gripping.

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