The Assisi Murders

Timothy Holme, Author
Timothy Holme, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5721-0
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Medieval Assisi is nicely evoked in this latest case involving the dapper Commissario Achille Peroni ( At the Lake of Sudden Death ) of the Venice police. On medical leave, he is persuaded by his sister Assunta to accompany her on a pilgrimage in honor of St. Francis. One of their fellow pilgrims, a woman Peroni is attracted to, is accused of murdering her alleged lover, student Lorenzo Florio-Levi. Convinced of her innocence, Peroni begins an informal investigation, which leads him back in time to Jacopa de Settesoli, a female follower and friend of St. Francis. Along the way, Peroni meets scholar and writer Dame Iolanthe Higgins and her companion Aliceboth marvelous creationsand a very elegant kept woman, who lives in a house formerly occupied by Jacopa. Peroni also has an uneasy encounter with Rocco Palanca, a childhood friend of his and Assunta's, who turns out to be the Superintendent of Fine Arts in Assisi and who might provide the key to the puzzle. While dodging the local police who would object to his interference, Peroni also has strange visions of the past. One telling aspect of modern Italian life proves a key plot element: because of the high crime rate, two middle-class women carry handguns in their purses at the behest of their husbands. Holme writes neatly and well about Italy and its people, as well as turning out a masterly police procedural. ( September )
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