Dying on the Vine

Aaron Elkins. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-24788-4
Edgar-winner Elkins’s cleverly plotted 18th Gideon Oliver mystery (after 2009’s Skull Duggery) takes the man “known throughout the world of forensic science as the Skeleton Detective” to Tuscany, where he looks into the apparent murder-suicide of Pietro Cubbiddu, the strong-willed patriarch of the famous Cubbiddu wine-making family, and Pietro’s wife, Nola. After examining the remains, Gideon concludes that it’s an unusual double homicide instead. The family and its confidantes had motive and opportunity for killing the couple—but why push the bodies off a cliff, then shoot them after they’re already dead? The later murder of an estranged half-brother of the three grown Cubbiddu sons creates both clues and confusion. A convincing resolution more than offsets the painstaking discussions of the manner of death that initially slow the pace. Evocations of Tuscany and a lively cast of supporting characters, notably feisty police lieutenant Rocco Gardella, balance the cerebral investigation with charm. Agent: Lisa Erback Vance, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 12/04/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-101-61349-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 296 pages - 978-0-425-25547-6
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