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.


Excursion to Tindari

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri

The TV version of the Montalbano mysteries uses locations such as Pozzalo (above), on the Sicilian coast near Ragusa
The TV version of the Montalbano mysteries uses locations
such as Pozzalo (above), on the Sicilian coast near Ragusa
Inspector Montalbano is called in to investigate when a young man is murdered in front of his apartment building just as he was about to put his key into the lock of the entrance door.

What seems a routine investigation suddenly becomes more interesting when an elderly couple are reported missing by their son and Montalbano discovers they lived in the same apartment building as the murder victim.

Against a backdrop of the complications of life at Vigàta police station and the difficulties he encounters in his own personal life, Montalbano uncovers a brutal new version of the Mafia that has sprung up in Sicily.

The elderly couple had travelled by bus on an excursion to a place called Tindari, but were fated never to return from their trip.

Montalbano finds himself being led down a path more evil than any path he has been down before.

But there is no shortage of visits to authentic trattorie where the Inspector finds the seafood particularly good. Once again Camilleri produces the style of writing that brings the smells, colours and landscapes of Sicily to life for the reader.

Buy from:



The Marshal and the Madwoman

A Marshal Guarnaccia Investigation by Magdalen Nabb

Magdalen Nabb's Marshall Guarnaccia novels are set in the city of Florence
Magdalen Nabb's Marshal Guarnaccia novels are set
in the city of Florence
When a crazy, destitute old woman is found dead in her apartment with her head in the gas oven, the Marshal isn’t prepared immediately to accept that she committed suicide.

His instincts tell him that the woman has been murdered and he sets out in the August heat in Florence to investigate her death thoroughly.

But his enquiries only lead to him asking himself: why would anyone want to murder Clementina, a poor old woman who was obsessed with tidying and cleaning the streets of the district of Florence where she lived?

Nothing at all is known about her by the other residents living nearby and so the Marshal has to try to reconstruct her past.

Only when he discovers the terrible event that wrecked her life and led to her madness 25 years earlier during the big flood that engulfed Florence, the story of which is vividly recreated in the novel by Magdalen Nabb, does he discover the identity of her present day murderer.

Marshal Guarnaccia then has to use all his ingenuity and resources to track down the culprit and make sure that they don’t get away with it.

Buy from:  



The Death of Faith

A Commissario Brunetti novel by Donna Leon

Commissario Guido Brunetti offers to make some enquiries about unexpected deaths at a care home in Venice after he is visited at his office by a former nun.
Beguiling Venice, where dark secrets can lurk

Maria Testa, who was known as Suor Immacolata when she used to care for Brunetti's aged mother, believes everything is not what it should be at the home she used to work in.

Having now relinquished her vocation, she is living her life in the outside world again, but remains so troubled by what she has witnessed that she asks for Brunetti's help.

He sets out to make his enquiries having complete faith in Maria's honesty and sincerity, but finds no obvious cause for concern.  

Is Maria simply creating a problem to justify abandoning her vows? Or, has she stumbled on to something deeply-rooted and sinister that will put her own life in danger?

As usual Brunetti finds himself working in an imperfect system and has to use his own skills and ingenuity to  eventually bring the wrongdoers to justice.

This is another tale by Donna Leon where the reader can enjoy her descriptions of the beauty of Venice while simultaneously being shocked by the corruption lying beneath the surface that she reveals.

Buy from:


Death in the High City

A Butler and Bartorelli mystery by Val Culley

In this first book in the Butler and Bartorelli series, journalist Kate Butler has travelled to Bergamo in northern Italy to investigate the circumstances of the sudden death of her cousin.

Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia
Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia
The dead woman, Sophie Westmullen, had been staying in the Città Alta while researching and writing a biography of the composer Gaetano Donizetti.

The novel, which was published in 2014, is the first in a series featuring the characters of Kate Butler, a freelance journalist, and her partner Steve Bartorelli, who has just retired from the police force he has served for 30 years, having reached the rank of Detective Chief Inspector.

Sophie had been living in an apartment in Bergamo’s Città Alta and much of the action in the novel takes place within the 16th century walls surrounding the high city. Although her death looks suspicious at first, the local police do not believe there is enough evidence for them to open a murder enquiry and so Kate Butler tries to get some answers about her cousin's death.

Kate visits many of the places in the city with Donizetti connections and her enquiries even take her out to Lago d’Iseo and into the countryside around San Pellegrino Terme. But after her own life is threatened and there has been another mysterious death in the Città Alta, her partner, Steve Bartorelli, joins her in Bergamo to help her unravel the mystery and trap the person responsible for the deaths.

The book enables the reader to go along with the investigators for the ride and enjoy Bergamo’s architecture and scenery while savouring the many descriptions of local food and wine.

It has been written in a style designed to appeal to anyone who enjoys the ‘cosy’ crime fiction genre in English literature and the setting has been used to appeal to readers who enjoy detective novels set in Italy.

The novel puts the spotlight on many of Bergamo’s main attractions, such as Piazza Vecchia, with the Campanone, the Palazzo della Ragione and the Biblioteca Civica. The plot of the novel particularly features the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Donizetti Museum.