cover image The Trouble with Going Home: A Simona Griffo Mystery

The Trouble with Going Home: A Simona Griffo Mystery

Camilla Crespi. HarperCollins Publishers, $20 (269pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017725-6

Family problems lure Greenwich Village-based Roman expatriate Simona Griffo, last seen in The Trouble with Thin Ice, back to Rome, when her mother, Olga, leaves her husband to stay with a friend, art teacher Mirella Monti. Olga remains resolutely quiet about her motives, but when Tamar Deaton, one of Mirella's American students, is fatally stabbed while being robbed, she declares, ``I want to get to the bottom of this killing.'' Simona, devoted to both her mother and Mirella, probes the affairs of Tamar and those of a prince in whose archives the victim had recently made a startling find. Her curiosity is also stirred by both Mirella's American suitor, who bankrolls the art school, and the latest doings of her own ex-husband, who, it seems, is acquainted with Rome's entire female population, including, of course, Tamar. Simona's deductive abilities and some long-distance digging by her lover, Stan Greenhouse of the NYPD. rescue the tale from being entirely family-centered and emotion-driven. Crespi uses personal attachments of varying intensity to bind together the elements of her story, the latest entry in a singular series, but gives us fewer than expected reasons to care about many of the characters here. (Jan.)