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Timothy Holme

Timothy Holme

(Born 1928 in England. Died 31 May, 1987 in Italy)

Timothy Holme wrote his five crime mysteries featuring Neapolitan detective Achille Peroni, of which there might have been many more had he not died at the age of just 59.

Born into a theatrical family - his father was theatre producer Stanford Holme, his mother the actress Thea Johnston. For a while the family home was the house in Cheyne Row, Chelsea that once belonged to the Scottish writer, historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle. Holme’s father was appointed the house’s curator by the National Trust.  His mother subsequently wrote a book about Carlyle.

Holme initially followed them into the theatre, becoming an actor, before turning to journalism.

While on holiday in Italy, he met Bianca Ghirardelli, who agreed to teach him Italian. They fell in love and were married, settling in Verona.

Holme's first book was a biography of the Venetian playwright and librettist Carlo Goldoni, who became one of Italy’s best-loved writers, particularly for his comedies.  A Servant of Many Masters: The Life and Times of Carlo Goldoni was published in 1976.

He subsequently wrote a book focussing on the life and times of Dante, Giotto and Boccaccio before turning to fiction.  Inspector Achille Peroni made his first appearance in 1980, in The Neapolitan Streak.

Peroni, the reader learned, was a native of Naples with all the characteristics that tend to be associated with the southern Italian city. Suave as well as clever, his good looks and willingness to enter into love affairs on a regular basis caused him to be known as 'the Rudolph Valentino of the Italian police' among his fellow detectives. 

Holme’s witty style earned him a following and he wrote four more Peroni stories. Sadly, At the Lake of Sudden Death (1987) proved to be the last.

Achille Peroni novels:

  1. The Neopolitan Streak (1980) Review
  2. A Funeral of Gondolas (1981)
  3. The Devil and the Dolce Vita (1982)
  4. The Assisi Murders (1985)
  5. At the Lake of Sudden Death (1987)

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