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.


A Party in San Niccolò

A tale of dark deeds carried out against a backdrop of incredible beauty

Authors are praised by reviewers and readers if they describe the locations of their novels well, especially if they have chosen a famous city that is familiar to many people.

I have enjoyed many good novels set in Florence, but I don’t think I have ever appreciated the way an author has portrayed the city quite as much as I did while reading A Party in San Niccolò.

A Party in San Niccolò is a crime novel set in Florence
A Party in San Niccolò is a
crime novel set in Florence

Christobel Kent brings Florence to life in the novel and she reawakened many of my own memories of the city, reminding me that I also once went for an afternoon snack at Procacci in the Via de’ Tornabuoni and of the time when I first saw the Boboli gardens.

In A Party in San Niccolò, a young English woman, Gina, visits Florence for the first time and we see the city through her eyes. She is going to stay with an old friend, Jane, needing a rest from the demands of her husband and three young children.

Jane’s marriage to a handsome Italian architect, Niccolò, turns out not to be as perfect as it first seems and Gina also finds herself becoming involved in the problems of one of Niccolò’s daughters, Beatrice, who comes home in a state of shock after learning that her best friend has been found dead.

When Gina goes to Niccolò’s country villa for a few days, she makes an unpleasant discovery and soon finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation in the Tuscan countryside. She is helped by an English friend of the family, Frank, and although she is happily married, Gina finds herself drawn to him.

Throughout the whole novel we are told about a party due to happen at the end of the week to celebrate the birthday of Frances, one of the British expats in Florence.

As Gina and Frank uncover more evidence about the murder of Beatrice’s friend, the night of the party draws closer. Matters come to a head in a dazzling denouement as the characters meet up at the party, held in a beautiful garden in Florence that is evocatively described by Christobel Kent.

A Party in San Niccolò was Christobel Kent’s debut novel and was first published in 2003.

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