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.


The Medici Murders by David Hewson

Carnevale chaos served up with a generous helping of history

The Medici Murders is set in Venice during Carnevale
The Medici Murders is set in
Venice during Carnevale
This novel set in Venice has a very likeable main character, a retired archivist named Arnold Clover, who suddenly finds himself having to help the Carabinieri with a murder investigation.

Arnold and his wife had planned to live out their retirement years in Venice and had managed to buy a small apartment there, but on the eve of their departure from England to start their new life, Arnold’s wife unexpectedly died because of a deteriorating health condition.

With his house sold and nothing left for him in London, Arnold sadly had to make the move alone. But after a year, he has settled in and, although still missing his wife, he has made some friends in Venice.

But then his peace is shattered when ghosts from his past arrive in la Serenissima and bring their troubles to his door.

David Hewson’s novel, The Medici Murders, which was published in 2022, is set during the annual Carnevale, a time of year when tourists roam the chilly calle of Venice wearing bizarre costumes.

Arnold, as a British expat, is commandeered by Carabinieri officer Valentina Fabbri to help him solve the murder of a well-known British TV historian, Marmaduke Godolphin.

Although Arnold has never thought of Godolphin as a friend, he knows of him because Godolphin had been a tutor at Arnold’s Cambridge college. Arnold had also recently been hired by him, via a third party, a Venetian archivist he has met, to go through some historical papers Godolphin has acquired.

Among the papers, Godolphin believed there would be previously unknown information about the murder of fugitive assassin Lorenzino de’ Medici in Venice, exactly 500 years before.

With Godolphin on the trip are other people Arnold remembers from his Cambridge days, who had been part of Godolphin’s exclusive circle of budding historians, while Arnold had been a mere looker-on.

The Medici Murders was published in 2022
The Medici Murders was
published in 2022
When Godolphin is found murdered in the exact spot Lorenzino de’ Medici had been killed in, the Carabinieri demand Arnold’s assistance, because the people who have accompanied Godolphin to Venice have now become their main suspects.

This novel will appeal to readers of Donna Leon and Philip Gwynne Jones, or to anyone who enjoys a crime novel set in Venice with a generous sprinkling of Italian history. 

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, The Sunday Times and The Independent. He has written more than 30 novels, including a series of crime novels set in Rome. He now lives near Canterbury in Kent.

The novel is a whodunit, but it also explores Arnold’s personal tragedy. After the retired archivist arrives at the solution to the mystery, he has the glimpse of a chance of a relationship with someone who never looked twice at him when they were at Cambridge together.

But Arnold shows his independent spirit and there is a surprise for the reader at the end. Let us hope David Hewson writes more about the adventures in Venice of this intelligent, retired archivist.

Buy The Medici Murders from or