cover image Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio

Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio

Mario Giordano, trans. from the German by John Brownjohn. Mariner, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-3583-0942-0

Giordano’s enjoyable third Auntie Poldi novel picks right up where 2019’s Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna left off, with a surprise visit from Poldi’s estranged Tanzanian husband, John Owenya. John has come to Sicily to investigate the disappearance of his half-brother, which is connected to the title’s handsome Antonio. Poldi, John, and Poldi’s current flame, Chief Insp. Vito Montana, set out to find Antonio, and are presented with plenty of candidates, all handsome and all named Antonio. Poldi, a 60-something Bavarian with a penchant for wigs, is soon crammed into a Maserati and on the run from a possible Mafia hit, along with her ne’er-do-well nephew (the unnamed narrator), her brother-in-law, and a flatulent dog, as they take a grand tour of the Sicilian back roads. The plot is thinner than in the two previous installments, but the prose remains sharp, the humor pointed, and Poldi—a whirlwind of sexual bravado and confidence—shines. Readers will hope to see a lot more of her. Agent: Jason Bartholomew, BKS Agency (U.K.). (Aug.)