Death in August

Marco Vichi, Author
Marco Vichi, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25 (232p) ISBN 978-1-60598-351-6
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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Set in Florence in the summer of 1963, Vichi’s stellar first in a new mystery series (and his U.S. debut) introduces endearingly melancholic Inspector Bordelli, whose fatigue with life shows in the mirror: “a fifty-three-year-old man... with deep circles under his eyes and sagging cheeks.” Professionally, Bordelli continues to irk his supervisor, Commissioner of Police Inzipone, by using his discretion on what offenders to lock up. When the elderly—and prickly—Signora Pedretti, an asthmatic, is found dead in her bedroom, Bordelli initially suspects natural causes, until her doctor reveals that her attacks were triggered by an allergic reaction to a specific substance not generally found in Florence. That the cap to the signora’s medication was screwed on tightly also suggests foul play. Vichi (Death in Florence) delivers a plausible solution worthy of a golden age crime novel. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this flawed hero. (Aug.)
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