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Publisher's Summary

One wet November in Florence, a young widow of an eminent Jewish architect comes to visit Sandro Cellini, a disgraced ex-policeman and budding private detective, to ask him to investigate her husband's suicide. But the case abruptly turns into something grimmer and more urgent than he could have imagined.

©2009 Christobel Kent (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
  • Louisa
  • 05-30-10

Christobel Kent gets better and better

I have followed Christobel Kent since she started with her excellent A Party In San Nicolo (sadly not in audio) and each book gets better and better - this is certainly her best so far - well plotted and well paced. You want it to go on and on.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • 05-04-10

excellent book

Well written, good plot, well read. I chose this book because of
its setting in Florence and was not disappointed. I had not read
this author before but I think this is the start of a classic series that is well worth following.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alison
  • 11-08-10

Excellent narration

I could not put this down. The story was so well narrated it even had me following the twist and turns of the story on Google earth as the characters move around Florence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ColinJS
  • 07-28-11

Enjoyable and entertaining

Good plot, interesting, believable characters and setting. Excellent narration, as always from this reader. Waiting for the next in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Isabelle
  • 11-05-15

Great characters, slightly unlikely plot.

I love the characters, the writing is good and the story is interesting. The detective elements rely a bit too much on coincidence to be credible. Florence is too large a city for everyone to keep bumping into each other at fortuitous moments for the plot.

Though I got a little annoyed at times, I enjoyed it overall and will read more in the series.

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  • D. Cottam
  • 04-14-15

Not one of the best in this genre

This is quite a likeable book but some of the characters lack depth and the dialogue is sometimes very irritating. The American boy nearly made me stop listening. The plot devices are a bit creaky and the outcome was fairly easy to predict. Sean Reichlin is a very
good narrator but I didn't find the premise of the tale very plausible and lost faith in the author , although I did like the detective and his wife. I'm not sure if I would try any more of this series. As in much crime fiction ,the denouement is often contrived and the point at which the culprits are confronted with a long explanation of how the mystery has been solved seems a hollow device.

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  • caroline
  • 10-22-14

A welcome departure from the usual crime novels

Any additional comments?

An beautifully written, narrated book. Recommend to all who need a departure from over written detective novels, which contain to much violence, gore, swearing, depressed heroes and the usual nonsense. Plus Florence always a pleasure.

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  • Bibliophile
  • 08-11-13

Florence in the rain

The American title "The drowning river" comes from the rains in a Florence which are threatening a repeat of the floods in the '60s which devastated the city. Sandro Cellini, who has left the police force in disgrace, is now setting up as a private investigator, and is called in to delve into the death of an elderly Florentinian architect which is from where the other title is drawn.
Meanwhile, an English art student has gone missing, and the two stories soon intertwine.
The characters are nicely drawn, and the city itself is a character. Not the hot, touristy place, but a city settling in for the winter. By the end of the story you feel that you know it as well as Donna Leon's Venice

  • Overall
  • Elizabeth
  • 04-03-12

Correction but applause

It is a very good listen - but it is not a YOUNG widow who comes to see Sandro Cellini but an elderly widow: her husband is also not an eminent Jewish architect, but a Jewish architect. I do wish whoever writes the synopsis on a book would get it right - perhaps even read it!