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.


Fatal Remedies

A Commissario Brunetti novel by Donna Leon

When a brick is thrown through the plate glass window of a travel agency in Venice the police officers sent to investigate the incident are shocked to discover that the offender is Paola Brunetti, the wife of Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Her action is meant to be a protest because she believes the travel agency are organising sex tours to Thailand.

But her deliberate act of vandalism has immediate repercussions for Brunetti’s police career. He is sent home on what is termed ‘administrative leave’ for an indefinite period.

He spends his time reading his favourite books about ancient Greece until his 'administrative leave' is interrupted when the owner of the travel agency is found to have been brutally murdered. 

A water bus (vaporetto) approaching Rialto Bridge.
Brunetti takes the decision to return to work and as soon as he arrives at the Questura he is put in charge of the investigation into the man’s death by his superior officer, Vice Questore Patta.

Eventually Brunetti discovers that the murdered man was involved in a money making racket that will have terrible consequences for its victims.

But he also finds out who is responsible for the brutal killing, bringing some kind of closure not just for the man’s widow, but also for his own wife, Paola.

As always Donna Leon gives the reader intriguing glimpses of daily life in Venice. On one occasion, Brunetti is with his sergeant, Vianello, on the No 82 vaporetto on the Grand Canal.

They make a last minute decision to get off at Rialto but the boat has already moved away from the jetty. Vianello goes to the sailor, who he knows, and the sailor signals to the captain to reverse the boat to enable them to get off.

This causes the boat to lurch and a woman nearly falls over, but Brunetti holds on to her to steady her.

Anyone who has ever been to Venice and been on the No 82 vaporetto will be instantly transported back to the sights, smells and sounds of the Grand Canal.

Fatal Remedies is a gripping and well plotted crime story set against the uniquely beautiful and often mysterious backdrop of Venice.

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Rounding the Mark

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri

During a bracing swim in the sea, Montalbano encounters a floating corpse next to him in the water. His investigative instincts are aroused when he discovers the victim is a man who is believed to have been buried some time ago. 

The Inspector is also investigating the circumstances of a hit and run accident that killed a young child and quickly discovers there is a connection with his floating corpse.

The compassionate Inspector is horrified to uncover a child trafficking racket taking place in Sicily that will have disastrous consequences for its young victims. He vows to avenge the child killed by the hit and run driver and bring the evil organisers of the trafficking to justice, whatever the risk to himself.

The fishing village of Punta Secca in southeastern Sicily is
 the location used for Montalbano's house on the beach
Although Camilleri is dealing with a horrific subject that sickens his protagonist, Montalbano, the author skilfully mixes tragedy with comedy, also showing the reader the absurdities of day to day life in Sicily and the bizarre way the police force is run by the people at the top. 

Throughout the book Montalbano is constantly on the look out for an excellent meal and trying to keep his long distance love affair with his girlfriend Livia going.

This is another gripping and entertaining mystery from Camilleri, despite the seriousness of the subject he is dealing with. 

The 14th series of the TV drama Inspector Montalbano, based on Camilleri's novels and starring Luca Zingaretti in the title role, is due on screens in Italy in March this year, taking the total number of episodes so far to 37.

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