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Monday, August 22, 2011

Italy in Books Reading Challenge August 2011


A Death in Tuscany by Michele Giuttari

Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011

A Death in Tuscany (Michele Ferrara)

  • Paperback: 381 pages
  • Genre: Crime Mystery
  • Publisher: This edition Abacus 2009
  • Source: Charity Bookshop in the UK
  • First Sentence : The girl, little more than a child, was found on the road above Scandicci, scantily dressed, without papers and dying of an overdose, at dawn on Sunday 29 July and was taken to the Ospedale Nuovo.
  • Review Quote : ‘The leading Italian crime writer’ The Times
  • My Opinion: Atmospheric of Italy with a sadly feasible plot.


    The August post with a list of books that the other people taking part are reading this month has already been posted. August Reviews

    Whilst the title for this book is not very imaginative, it is the reason I was drawn to pick this up for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011. This is not a genre I read a great deal of and the author is not familiar to me so I do not feel I can compare him with others that write books set in Italy in this genre of which there are quite a few.

    Michele Giuattari is a former Florence Police Chief so he does have an insiders advantage on the understanding of how the police and legal system work within Italy. This I think is certainly the sort of case that is sadly based on current issues in the real world, so fiction that has fact behind it.

    The story is about the investigation into the death of a young girl hardly more than a child, whom it is assumed died of a drug overdose. The case is taken on by Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara and he quickly realises that this is far more than a simple overdose death. He believes that the girl was murdered and as he investigates becomes convinced it is part of a much wider conspiracy. It even turns out that there is a sinister connection between this case and the disappearance of a close friend of his!

    The speech appears stilted at times but I think this is just because English is not the original language. There are many characters and I did not find any of them particularly memorable, but the plot line was strong enough to hold my attention in what was a quick light read. What was of interest is the setting of Florence and the surrounding countryside, appealing if you know the area and maybe tempting you to visit if you do not. An average read then for those of us interested in Italy and or the crime novel. I doubt if I would have picked this up if it were not for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 though.

    Author profile photo from Facebook.

    Michele Giuttari was born in Messina, Italy in 1950. in 1975 he graduated with a law degree and three years later joined the Police Force., where fro 1995 until 2003 he held the position of Police Chief. In 1997 he began working as a writer of detective novels, soon becoming known both nationally and internationally. His books are translated into major languages ​​and published in over 100 countries.

    Information for this post is with thanks to the following websites.

    Facebook Profile Author's Official Website

    Michele Giuttari - Goodreads Author

    I also post these ‘Italy in Books’ reviews on my other blog
    LindyLouMac's Book Reviews


    1. Now that book sounds like an interesting read!

    2. I just finished reading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. He doesn't have very good things to say about Michele Giuttari, so I'll pass on this author.

    3. I am a great Donna Leon fan as she writes crime novels set in Venice. However, I bought A Death in Tuscany a few weeks ago and I am very much looking forward to a promising read!

    4. This sounds interesting. I haven't read any Italian crime fiction other than Montalbano. Can you recommend any other books better than this one?

    5. What a great idea - I wonder if there is a similar challenge for England? There are just too many books here, that it is overwhelming. It would be nice to have a list of good English reads.

    6. I like the idea that you are reading books focused on the setting in Italy. It definitely sounds very interesting!

    7. I love crime novels, but haven't read any by Italian authors, sounds interesting!

    8. Boy LLM, you are an avid reader and writer. I love how your house has turned out. It shows that you are also a hard worker and determined IMHO.

      I finished My 30 Years Backstairs at the Whitehouse that I enjoyed so much. Especially since the writer is staff. She truly a feeling of what it was like to live there across.

      Stay cool, enyoying your figs.


    9. It's always interesting to read a book written by a professional. Thank you for the tip.

    10. Thanks for the tip also from me: I didn't know this author before.

    11. It sounds as though it is worth a read, if only for the Italian setting.

    12. Hey Linda..

      Thanks for the recommendations... Tuscana is my FAVOURITE region in Italia.. I LOVE Italy!!! I will have to check out the books..
      Have a wonderful week.. Leesa

    13. I adore reading each evening, I will put these on the list of books to get, they sound so interesting. Thank you for sharing. hugs ~lynne~

    14. I might like this book. I have visited Florence a couple of times, and it is my favorite city in Italy. Have you read The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi (I think they are the authors)? It is the true story about a serial killer and the investigation surrounding it.

    15. Hi LLM, we'll be taking time to read your other reviews as well. Then we see if they are available on our Kindles!


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