Bitter Remedy

Connor Fitzgerald. Bloomsbury, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-62040-685-4

Fitzgerald’s intricately plotted fifth Alec Blume novel (after 2013’s [em]The Memory Key[/em]) takes the police commissioner from Rome to an unnamed village in central Italy for a holiday that proves anything but restful. Ingesting some poisonous seeds lands him in the hospital, and a car accident further extends his stay. The solicitous hostess at the villa where he’s staying, Silvana, visits his bedside, as does her jealous fiancé, Niki Solito, who owns a sleazy nightclub. When Blume’s presence becomes known in the village, he’s approached by Nadia Antonescu, who asks Blume to find a friend of hers, Alina Paulescu, a club girl who’s gone missing. Blume’s daring leaps of imagination to link clues, as well as inspired investigative help from Chief Insp. Caterina Mattiola, his lover back in Rome, provide a surprising resolution to this puzzler. [em]Agent: Sarah Ballard, United Agents. (Sept.) [/em]