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Travel books - Italian authors

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Almost Blue (City Lights Italian Voices)
by Carlo Lucarelli

The most well known Italian sleuths (Dibdin's Aurelio Zen, Leon's Guido Brunetti) are aging melancholics. Lucarelli, who sings in a postpunk band and has written 11 novels (this is his first to appear in the U.S.), gives us Grazia Negro, a hip, young female detective working with a newly formed unit designed to track serial killers. There's one on the loose in Bologna, preying on university students and cruising the city's underground music clubs. What gives this novel its spark is Negro's encounter with Simone, a young blind man who spends his time listening to jazz and tuning into the sounds of the city on his scanner, which captures the voice of the killer. Lucarelli's characterization of Simone is fascinating, especially the detailed exposition of how the blind man hears what we see. His romance with Negro proves utterly believable and remarkably erotic. There are a few ragged plot edges here, but nothing to deter us from the conclusion that Lucarelli is a fresh and exciting new voice in Italian crime fiction. Keep the translations coming. Bill Ott

Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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The Voice of the Violin: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery
by Andrea Camilleri

Inspector Salvo Montalbano, with his compelling mix of humor, cynicism, and compassion, has been compared to Georges Simenon's, Dashiel Hammett's, and Raymond Chandler's legendary detectives.
In this latest novel, Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immedi-ately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate. But it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key to this murder.

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The Terra-Cotta Dog: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery
by Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic take on Sicilian life. Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious têtê à têtê with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There, the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog....

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The Shape of Water
by Andrea Camilleri

 
Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, making a belated first appearance in the U.S., has long been a staple of both Italian and German best-seller lists. It's easy to see why: Camilleri captures that special blend of lethargy, cynicism, and reluctant commitment that drives the best fictional Italian cops (e.g., Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen). Salvo Montalbano, police inspector in the small Sicilian town of Vigata, has a potentially explosive case on his plate: a local politician has been found...

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The Decameron
by Giovanni Boccaccio

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Erotic Tales
by Alberto Moravia

From Publishers Weekly :
Though it opens with "The Thing," an extremely explicit chronicle of lesbianism and bestiality, this short story collection isn't so much concerned with sex per se as with the ways in which sexuality expresses the essence of character. In "To an Unknown God," a nurse fondles her patients' genitals...

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Boredom (New York Review Book, No 8)
by Alberto Moravia

From Library Journal :
Moravia's 1960 novel was embraced by critics as one of his finest. It relates the story of a failed artist who becomes infatuated with a young model. Typical of his fiction, this book examines humankind's relationship to power, sex, and money with cold displacement.

Copyright 1999 Reed Business...

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The Betrothed
by Alessandro Manzoni

Book Description:
Set in Lombardy in the years 1628-30, The Betrothed tells the dramatic tale of two young lovers in a time of war, famine, and plague. Following them through exile and suffering, it displays great richness of characterization and a profound insight into the workings of history and the politics of the...

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The Marshall and the Murderer
by Magdalen Nabb

From Publishers Weekly :
Nabb's modest Florentine Marshal Guarnaccia makes his fifth appearance in this superb novel with fully realized characters and an engrossing mystery. Called upon to find a missing Swiss student, Monica Heer, by Elisabeth Stauffer, her nervous companion, Guarnaccia goes to a pottery center outside...

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Uniform Justice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
by Donna Leon

From Publishers Weekly :
In this superb novel, Leon's latest in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series (A Noble Radiance, etc.), the Venetian police detective and family man is summoned to the exclusive San Martino Military Academy, where Cadet Ernesto Moro has been found dead, hanging in the lavatory. The other cadets and...

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