Recent Events

Monday 23 October 2023

‘Foul Deeds and Fine Dying’ by Marco Maldalvi

Published by MacLehose Press,
13 April 2023.
ISBN: 978-1-52941-538-4 (HB)

Italy, 1900.
Pellegrino Artusi, famous chef, is invited to the castle of Senor Gazzolo, purveyor of tinned foods. One of the other guests dies in the night – inside a locked room...

This novel is great fun. The plot is pure John Dickson Carr: an atmospheric castle, possible secret passages, a door which only people wearing a fencing mask can enter, a man dead in a sealed room (the solution is also Carr’s) and a cast of interesting people.

There’s D’Ancona, the dead man, and his Turkish counterpart, Alydin, whose job was scrutinising contracts between Italian entrepreneurs and the Ottoman government. There are Signor Bonci and his enigmatic daughter, Delia; Signor Gazzolo and his wife, along with the castle staff.

The plots cleverly worked out and fairly clued, with a neat ending twist. The historical detail is impeccably researched. The storytelling style is modern and witty, with character thoughts given in speech style, and Malvaldi’s an intrusive author, cutting in to give historical facts and comparisons with today. The book ends with recipés from the story.

A fun whodunnit set in 1900 Italy with enjoyable characters and a clever plot.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Marco Malvaldi was born in Pisa in 1974 and is both a crime novelist and a chemist. He is best known for his BarLume series set on the Tuscan coast, and also for The Art of Killing Well, for which he was awarded both the Osola d’Elba Award and the Castiglioncelle Prize.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

Click on the title to read a review of her recent book
A Shetland Winter Mystery

No comments:

Post a Comment