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Cosi Fan Tutti (Aurelio Zen 05) [Paperback]

Michael Dibdin
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

17 Feb 2011 Aurelio Zen 05

In this, the fifth book in the acclaimed Aurelio Zen series, Zen finds himself in Naples, in disgrace - and having the time of his life. Like the rest of Italy, Naples is concerned about its image and trying to clean up its act.

Unfortunately it seems that someone is taking this rather too literally. Corrupt politicians, shady businessmen and eminent mafiosi are disappearing off the streets at an alarming rate. This is all very tedious for Zen, whose commitment to his work is at an all-time low. He would far rather amuse himself by sorting out the romantic entanglements of his landlady's nubile daughters and putting the fidelity of their unsuitable lovers to the test. But in the end he discovers that even in the 'New Italy' of the 1990s, some things, above all love and deception, never change.

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Cosi Fan Tutti (Aurelio Zen 05) + Dead Lagoon (Aurelio Zen 04) + A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen 06)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (17 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571270840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571270842
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratking in 1988, which won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year and introduced us to his Italian detective - Inspector Aurelio Zen. In 1989 The Tryst was published to great acclaim and was followed by Vendetta in 1990, the second story in the Zen series. Dirty Tricks was published in 1991. Inspector Zen made his third appearance in Cabal, which was published in 1992. The Dying of the Light, an Agatha Christie pastiche, was published in 1993. His fourth Zen novel, Dead Lagoon, was published the following year. His next novel, Dark Spectre, was published in 1995. Two more Zen novels followed: Cosi Fan Tutti, set in Naples, was published in 1996 and A Long Finish was published in 1998. Blood Rain, the seventh Zen novel, was published in 1999. Thanksgiving was published in 2000, with the eighth Zen, And Then You Die, appearing in 2002. Aurelio Zen returned in Medusa, in August 2003, and then again in Back to Bologna in 2005. His last novel, End Games, was published posthumously in July 2007.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Posted to Naples – at his own request – Aurelio Zen is more than content with his life. At work he comes late and leaves early. His staff are loyal and he ensures that they have a vested interest in being so. He has a strong friendship with a lady of many charms, Valeria Squillace, who knows him as Alfonso Zembla, an accidental pseudonym that is proving invaluable. And then, in a way that our unconventional policeman could not have anticipated, everything falls apart.

A knifing, a series of vanished persons, a lost American, suspected Mafioso, a plot to destroy two romances and, finally, Aurelio’s missing mother, all come together to shatter his comfortable new life.

Michael Dibdin is in sparkling form in 'Cosi Fan Tutti', twisting his plot with panache.

Read by Martin Shaw

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Dibdin lived in Italy for many years and had 11 Zen books published which continue to entertain readers around the world. He died in 2007. His novels won many awards including the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for Ratking.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosi Fan Tutti, Michael Dibdin 27 April 2005
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
The fifth novel in the series sees Zen sent to Naples, and having a whale of a time. All he has to do is keep out of the way, check in at the office once in a while, and enjoy himself. It would all go swimmingly were it not for an awkward murder that seems to be undue political attention, and the sudden disappearance of a number of prominent local citizens from the cities streets.
These Zen novels just get even more superb as the series goes on, and I'm amazed at how Dibdin does it. Cosi Fan Tutti is a sun-drenched melodrama of a story, told in an absolutely charming style, rather reminiscent of an opera (Dibdin's intention, clearly). It has a completely different tone and tenor to the previous novels; it has a lighter feel to it that suits the series even better than the previous one. Of all the novels, this is the one I've enjoyed most so far, and it's mostly because of this shift in style, this melodramatic, operatic touch (the final 10 pages are an absolute triumph!) Zen is, as always, his usual brilliant self: cynical and cunning, his every endeavour aimed at giving himself an easy life. Until a bit of inconvenient crime shows up, anyway.
Really, I've got to plead with you: read this series! If you're a fan of crime fiction (if you like Rankin or Connelly, or if you adore the disenchanted eye of Donna Leon) then you can't let Zen and Dibdin pass by. Start with Ratking, and then sit back and enjoy. You won't regret it for a minute.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I picked up this work with some diffidence - the title was a give-away, but I was gradually seduced into growing interest in the way in which Dibdin exploited the plot of Mozart's opera and applied it to a city and society that most merited its worldly cynicism. I lived in Naples for a number of years and revisit it regularly. The author has caught the modern flavour of Naples and its people; its characters are recognisable and its setting, both topographical and social, evocative and convincing. If this is a lighter Aurelio Zen than we have hitherto known, then this does not lessen the skill of the author in his depiction of contemporary Italy. To those who love Italy, opera and above all Naples, this is to be heartily recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Diversion 22 Jan 2005
By Manfred
Written like a Victorian melodrama or, indeed, an opera, this is a novel that brings a big smile to the face. It is a joy to read and has a very exciting climax. I think one book like this is perfect and I welcome the return to the blacker humour of the other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aurelio Zen in Naples 6 Feb 2006
Aurelio Zen has been dispatched from Rome to Naples to help the Polizia dello Stato responsible for law enforcement within the port area. He is going to fight against a terrorist gang called "Strade pulite" - Clean Streets. He is going to meet Signora Valeria Squillace and her two daughters Orestina and Filomena who wish to marry two members of the local Mafia, Gesualdo and Sabatino. Zen promises to help Signora Squillace by trying to "divert" the two men's taste for women and hires two "prostitutes", Libera and Iolanda while Orestina and Filomena are sent to London, allegedly to improve their English. Matters nearly get out of control when an American marine is killed by a gang of drunken Greek soldiers but whose identity the officers are not able to establish. Among the dead man's belongings there is a mysterious video cassette which is soon to vanish without explanation...
Nothing is what it seems to be, nobody is what they claim to be - except Zen with his usual bonhomie - and so numerous misunderstandings occur which make "Cosi Fan Tutti" the wittiest Aurelio Zen mystery written by Michael Dibdin.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Sandwiched between the brilliant Dead Lagoon and A Long Finish in the Aurelio Zen series, this is, in comparison, a fairly lightweight piece of work. The central conceit (the chapter headings and the broad outline of the plot mirror those of Mozart's opera of the same name) is a neat one, but this seems to constrain the general atmosphere to be more broadly farcical than the grim black humour of the other books in the series. Dibdin's prose is a pleasure to read, as always, though. If you're reading the books in strict order, don't be put off as the next one (A Long Finish) is a cracker.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have enjoyed all of Michael Dibdin's books up until now. They are filled with accurate observations which conjure up a clear picture of the Italian region and society each story is set in. But Cosi Fan Tutti is no more than an entertaining farce. The characters are crude caricatures and the plot is both far-fetched and predictable. There was none of the excitement and nervous anticipation of his other books. I know Naples well and awaited the book eagerly, but was sorely disappointed. It didn't bring the city to mind, and offered nothing new and memorable. Read his next book, A Long Finish, instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good.... 22 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very rambling and confusing plot, all over the place, no where as good as the rest of the series, hope the sequels are back to form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing 12 Nov 2012
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good detective story although you need an Italian dictionary beside you if you don't speak the language. The plot has an entertaining comic element and an Agatha Christie-type ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen
I am a big fan of the series and enjoy all of these books. Have not been let down by any of them.Will keep buying them and reading them.
Published 5 months ago by Dr. S. Balboa
2.0 out of 5 stars Rambling and tedious.
I am slowly working my way through Michael Dibdin's books after having them recommended to me by a friend who knows of my love for Italy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Matteo_B
4.0 out of 5 stars A view of Naples
An unusual book, sited in Naples and has Zen operating on a couple of different levels.

There is enough going on to keep the interest going. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Blyth
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time
Messy, not heading anywhere, and will never read another Dibdin story. Very disappointing. Several bits f plts thrown together and finally totally unconvincing.
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Iris Dell'acqua
5.0 out of 5 stars Love a good Dibdin read
Have not actually read this one yet but always enjoy a Zen book and am saving this for my holiday.
Published 7 months ago by Mary Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Very clever mystery. Based on the Mozart opera, with some clear parallels in the story line, but not enough to make it predictable. And pretty scary!
Published 7 months ago by Aurelio
4.0 out of 5 stars Zen again...
Good series, good writing. A real shame the author died so soon. Crime aficionados could have used more of his interesting plots.
Published 10 months ago by JB
3.0 out of 5 stars Cosi fan tutte
A bit glib, forced humour to fit the title and lacking the energy of the other titles but worth a ead
Published 11 months ago by Mr. P. G. Marson
4.0 out of 5 stars Cosi Fan Tutti
First came across Aurelio Zen on television and very much enjoyed the experience and in the same way discovered Inspector Montalbano. Read more
Published 19 months ago by C. ANTJOULE
1.0 out of 5 stars If you like Michael Dibdin ....
... then you will probably be baffled as to why the great author of the earlier novels managed to produce such trite trash as this. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Thomas Hunter
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