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Death in Sardinia (Inspector Bordelli) [Paperback]

Marco Vichi , Stephen Sartarelli
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 Oct 2012 Inspector Bordelli


Florence, 1965. A man is found murdered, a pair of scissors stuck through his throat. Only one thing is known about him - he was a loan shark, who ruined and blackmailed the vulnerable men and women who would come to him for help.

Inspector Bordelli prepares to launch a murder investigation. But the case will be a tough one for him, arousing mixed emotions: the desire for justice conflicting with a deep hostility for the victim. And he is missing his young police sidekick, Piras, who is convalescing at his parents' home in Sardinia.

But Piras hasn't been recuperating for long before he too has a mysterious death to deal with . . .

Frequently Bought Together

Death in Sardinia (Inspector Bordelli) + Death and the Olive Grove (Inspector Bordelli) + Death in August (Inspector Bordelli 1)
Price For All Three: £18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444712276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444712278
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 13.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A fifth Inspector Bordelli novel, DEATH IN THE TUSCAN HILLS, will be coming soon from Hodder & Stoughton.

Marco Vichi was born in Florence in 1957. The author of twelve novels and two collections of short stories, he has also edited crime anthologies, written screenplays, music lyrics and for radio, and collaborated on and directed various projects for humanitarian causes.

His novel Death in Sardinia was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association International Dagger in 2013 and Death in Florence (Morte a Firenze) won the Scerbanenco, Rieti, Camaiore and Azzeccagarbugli major crime prizes in Italy.

Marco Vichi lives in the Chianti region of Tuscany.

You can find out more on Marco's Italian website,

Product Description


'Once again [Vichi's] depiction of Italian history and culture is both fascinating and complex . . . As a portrait of a country struggling with its past, present and future, DEATH IN SARDINIA is a sharply observed slice of crime fiction with real depth.' (

'A real find for anyone who likes their crime novels atmospheric, discursive, humorous and thought-provoking.' (Guardian)

'Vichi's crime novels are enjoyable, mystifying and well worth reading.' (Literary Review)

'[Italian] writers are justifiably growing in popularity here: Marco Vichi deserves to be among them . . . [Bordelli] is stubborn, womanless, cynical and impatient, but strangely appealing.' (Marcel Berlins, The Times)

'Over the course of his police procedurals, Vichi shows us ever more secret and dark sides to an otherwise sunny and open city. But his happiest creation, in my opinion, remains the character of Inspector Bordelli, a disillusioned anti-hero who is difficult to forget.' (Andrea Camilleri)

'An outstanding package combining an envious narrative, a colourful and multi-faceted detective and a cornucopia of Italian food to die for . . . Magical and moreish' ( on DEATH AND THE OLIVE GROVE)

[The Inspector Bordelli books] feature a fascinating cop and disillusioned anti-hero who rails against both injustice and the corrupt system but faces classic murder cases with a familiar Christie-like ring (Maxim Jakubowski)

'Vichi's stellar first in a new mystery series introduces endearingly melancholic Inspector Bordelli . . . [and] delivers a plausible solution worthy of a golden age crime novel. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this flawed hero.' (Publishers Weekly, starred review for DEATH IN AUGUST)

Book Description

Set in Florence in the 1960s, this is the third in the Inspector Bordelli series of atmospheric Italian crime.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death in Sardinia 4 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having really enjoyed the two previous Inspector Bordelli novels, Death in August (Inspector Bordelli) and Death and the Olive Grove (Inspector Bordelli)) I was keen to read this third in the series. This is set in the Christmas period, but Bordelli is in reflective mood. His young sidekick Piras is currently at home in Sardinia, having been shot and injured badly by escaped convicts, and another police sergeant that Bordelli has worked with for years is in hospital dying.

These novels are as much about the characters as the plots and are an enjoyable and interesting read. Bordelli is currently investigating the murder of a loan shark, who used blackmail to exhort money. Most people Bordelli speaks to thinks it is wonderful that he is gone and, although the Inspector can't help but agree, he finds it sad that nobody has a kind word to say about the victim. Meanwhile, in Sardinia, Piras discovers the suicide of a local man and, when things don't seem right, begins to investigate even if hampered by crutches.

The two stories interweave through the holiday period. Bordelli has never seen his job as black and white and has befriended many criminals over the previous novels. In his current case he has two young suspects that he likes, but does not understand. Bordelli's memories are set firmly in the past, with his war exploits never far from his mind. Now, in the mid Sixties he faces a youth that worships the Rolling Stones and wants to escape memories of the hardship of the past.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another great read by this accomplished author.I will look forward to reading more of Inspector Bordelli, his team and his friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sardinia 9 Mar 2014
By Jimbo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoy the mixture of the murder mystery and the setting and the authors knowledge of the towns and surrounding area.
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This 3rd book in the series about Inspector Bordelli, translated by Stephen Sartarelli, might have been titled ‘Death in Florence [again] and Sardinia’. Two parallel investigations are undertaken, during the period 12th-31st December 1965; the first by Bordelli that involves a loan-shark, Badalamenti, done to death with a pair of scissors to the neck. The second is the apparent suicide of in rural Sardinia of Benigno, the cousin of a neighbour of the parents of Bordelli’s young colleague Piras. Piras is there recuperating from a shooting which leaves him on crutches, telephoning his girlfriend, Sonia, avoiding his mother’s cross-examinations about who she is and wanting to get back to work.

Bandalamenti had been in Bordelli’s sights for some time but his high-level political and judicial contacts meant that official searches of his home and investigations of his illegal activities were not approved. Moreover, none of his ‘clients’ was keen to seek police help. However, following his murder, the Inspector finds a list of their names and promissory notes, as well as compromising photographs of a young girl. Then the pathologist, Dr Diotivede, finds a gold ring inscribed with the name ‘Ciro’ in the victim’s stomach.

The book provides more information about Bordelli’s closest female friend, Rosa, a former prostitute, who lives in some luxury, wears high-heel shoes and introduces the Inspector to the pleasures of marijuana; but the exact nature of their platonic relationship remains unclear. Throughout the book, Bordelli is trying to give up smoking with some success compared with his first book, set just two years earlier. The decontamination of his lungs is shown by the speckles of soot in his handkerchief after he sneezes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 28 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is the first Inspector Bordelli book I have read and I will certainly read more, good story and atmosphere
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5.0 out of 5 stars A double enquiry 22 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved the fact that Bordelli and his protégé were separated but both involved in an enquiry. I can't wait for the next installement and see them working together again.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is set in the past (1965) with the central character having been a soldier in the second World War, he is haunted by memories of that time and fallen comrades.

The book is two tales running side by side, events in the past are impacting events in the present, one could argue that the author is exploring Italy's troubled past through the medium of crime fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Christmas Tale 25 April 2013
By Bernard
Format:Kindle Edition
A well written story with the spirit of Christmas at its heart. Vichi combines the classic gritty, police procedural genre with a lifting end to the story of Christmas in a time when life was much more simple.
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