- Paperback: 153 pages
- Publisher: Daniel & Daniel Pub (Jun 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1564743624
- ISBN-13: 978-1564743626
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,255,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I tell you, after a multitude of women as coroners, feisty private eyes, 24/7 career types, Giuditta, the sleuthing cook is refreshing. Emilia, daughter-in-law of the matriarch, Caterina, is murdered. Bella, the other daughter-in-law, who never got along with Emilia, is arrested for the murder. Giuditta vows to prove the innocence of Bella with whom she has a warm and respectful relationship.
It is more what is missing from this mystery novel that makes it appealing. There is no real blood and gore. Action without plot is missing. And we don't have to pine over the ups and downs of the intimate relationships of the heroine. Giuditta does develop an intimate relationship along the way with Angelo the artist, but it is a warm and easy going intimacy that adds to the story.
This mystery is different. Different in the immense attention to detail, and the use of superb prose to set the scenes. One is transported to the time and place. You feel the heat, dust and dirt in a palazzo. You sweat with Giduitta as she travels miles on foot to gather information. The characters are many and the Italian names a bit confusing. It reminds me a bit of P.D. James. You do have to work some brain cells on this one, and that too is a refreshing difference from many of the popular mysteries of today.
The author has woven a tale of mystery that gives pleasure, and a reassurance that there really are still mystery writers that can write above the 10th grade reading level.
Like character development? You won't find it here. The characters are one-dimensional.
The writing is awkward, filled with disconnected, jarring observations, and laughable lines like, "A fortissimo cry erupter from Bella's mouth."
The author also seems to believe that by sprinkling Italian words through the book, she makes it more authentic. (The words are printed in italics, just to be sure the reader doesn't miss them.)
Don't waste your time on this book!
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