cover image Death and the Olive Grove: An Inspector Bordelli Mystery

Death and the Olive Grove: An Inspector Bordelli Mystery

Marco Vichi, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60598-448-3

In Vichi’s compelling follow-up to Death in August (2012), set in 1964, the odd and diminutive informer Casimiro comes to Florence and tells a strange story to his friend Inspector Bordelli: he has found a dead body in Fiesole, near a closely guarded villa that belongs to a mysterious foreigner. The doubtful but dutiful Bordelli fails to find evidence of Casimiro’s claim, but when more than one little girl turns up dead and mutilated, the inspector thinks that the informer may have stumbled across something sinister that implicates someone from Bordelli’s past. As the investigation proceeds and the inspector deals gently with the grief-stricken mothers of the victims, it becomes clear that the evil of the Nazis casts a long shadow and that Bordelli has his own scars—and secrets—from WWII. The author’s smooth style, believable characters, and astute recognition of the multiple layers involved in a crime engage the reader throughout. (July)