cover image Murder on the Vine

Murder on the Vine

Camilla Trinchieri. Soho Crime, $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64129-366-2

Trinchieri’s excellent third Tuscan mystery (after 2021’s The Bitter Taste of Murder) finds former NYPD detective Nico Doyle enjoying breakfast one Sunday morning at his rented farmhouse with his friends from the local carabineri station, maresciallo Salvatore Perillo and brigadiere Daniele Donato. A distress call brings the policemen back to the station, where hotel manager Laura Benati reports that her 80-year-old bartender, Cesare Rinaldi, has been missing for three days. The next morning, Nico goes to the assistance of Jimmy Lando, co-owner of the Bar All’Angolo in Gravigna, after Jimmy runs out of gas on the road from Florence. Nico, with the help of his dog OneWag, discovers Cesare’s body in the trunk of Jimmy’s car. Nico, Perillo, and Donato try to figure out the links between Cesare’s murder, the dead man’s missing 1972 Ducati 750GTs, and the sale of prime vineyard properties. Rabelaisian feasts (“Fried polenta with sautéed porcini mushrooms, garlic and parsley”) provide seasoning as the action builds to a festive, celebratory bar gala. Trinchieri makes crime solving adventuresome, fun, and flavorful. This is the best in the series so far. Bring on number four. (Sept.)