cover image Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna

Mario Giordano, trans. from the German by John Brownjohn. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24 (352p) ISBN 978-1-328-91902-1

In Giordano’s sharp, hilarious follow-up to 2016’s Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, Isolde “Poldi” Oberreiter, a 60-something Bavarian with a penchant for wigs who has settled in the charming Sicilian village of Torre Archirafi, suspects Mafia involvement when water to her neighborhood is shut off and a friend’s dog is poisoned. Her investigation leads her to a vineyard, where she discovers the body of a well-known local fortune-teller. She inserts herself into the subsequent murder investigation. Meanwhile, her romance with Chief Insp. Vito Montana, who’s in charge of homicide cases, continues to smolder. While the interplay between Poldi and her ne’er-do-well German nephew—the book’s anonymous narrator, who stays with her periodically in Torre Archirafi—is particularly fun and well executed, even better are the humorous observations on the quirks of Sicilian life. Readers will look forward to the further adventures of the irrepressible Auntie Poldi. [em]Agent: Jason Bartholomew, BKS Agency (U.K.). (Mar.) [/em]