cover image The Black Rose of Florence

The Black Rose of Florence

Michele Giuttari, trans. from the Italian by Howard Curtis. Abacus (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-349-00011-4

n Giuttari’s absorbing fifth mystery featuring Chief Supt. Michele Ferrara (after Death in Calabria), Ferrara’s wife shows him a threatening note she found in their mailbox that reads: “We’re coming for you and your...” Ferrara suspects that the message may have stemmed from his work on the Monster of Florence case, which he was forced to abandon. Before he can pursue those suspicions, Ferrara lands a high-profile—and bizarre—new case: the nude, strangled corpse of 36-year-old Giovanna Innocenti, the daughter of “internationally renowned Florentine entrepreneurs,” is found in her Florence apartment, handcuffed to the bed, with a “long-stemmed artificial black rose” placed between her legs. The letter and the murder prove to be connected after Ferrara’s anonymous correspondent sends him another note, which states: “Soon the roses will bloom again and the hooded ones will take leave of their senses.” Giuttari does a good job of fostering an atmosphere of menace, with powerful dark forces operating behind the scenes. (Dec.)