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Publisher's Summary

Naples, 1931. A bitter wind stalks the city streets, and murder lies at its chilled heart. When Maestro Vezzi, one of the world's greatest tenors, is found brutally murdered in his dressing room at Naples' famous San Carlo theater, the enigmatic and aloof Commissario Ricciardi is called to investigate. Arrogant and bad-tempered, Vezzi was hated by many. But with the livelihoods of the opera at stake, who would have committed such a callous act?

Ricciardi and his loyal colleague Maione are determined to discover the truth, but Ricciardi carries a secret of his own. Will it help him solve this murder?

©2007 Fandango Libri Srl. Translation © 2012 Anne Milano Appel (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Little right, a Lot Wrong

First mistake was buying three by the same author before listening to one. The second was since I had run out of everything by Donna Leon and starting to feel homesick for her Italy, the setting appealed. In comparison it felt like the author was using her template and filling in the blanks with a poorly crafted pen.

You're not going to fall into like with this character. Or any of the characters. The story was too contrived throughout and poorly done at that. Some dialogue very fast and choppy, sounding as if the reader did so simply to make another voice. Ever too much crystal balling.

If I'd purchased these as hard copies I would return the other two without taking out of the bag.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Compelling start to mystery series set in 1939s Italy

I was at first put off by the detective's apparent ability to "see" dead people, but the author primarily uses this as a metaphor for empathetic observation of the cruel inequities existing in fascist 1930s Naples. Good writing and strong characterizations in a dramatic setting. Will download the second book in this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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series review: very good noir; a bit unusual

The 7 books in the series are good- some are very good. i have my quibbles and complaints about a couple of 'em (i.e. the author intentionally misleads) but mystery novels often have those issues.

the books also bring a nice flavor of naples.

grover gardner is great as always--yes, his italian is a bit off...but an excellent narrator.