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The Art of Killing Well Hardcover – 5 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857052942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857052940
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Camilleri's heir apparent ... lingers on your literary palate' Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph.

'Like a cross between The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and the slyest, cleverest of Christie novels, The Art of Killing Well is one of those rare books that will keep you grinning from beginning to end' Russel D. McLean, Sunday Herald.

'Malvaldi has cooked up a gentle, atmospheric Agatha Christie-esque number with plenty of tongue-in-cheek wit and period detail in a mystery that finishes with a cute and clever twist... A tasty Michelin three-star book!' Sunday Sport.

'Ideal holiday reading, funny, compelling, unpredictable and immensely satisfying' Alannah Hopkin, Irish Examiner.

'Original, intelligent, smoothly executed - Malvaldi is a master chef of crime fiction' Christian Bourgois, Livres Hebdo.

'It's not easy upon a first appearance for a newcomer to earn themselves a place at the table of legendary detectives, alongside Brother Cadfael or Hercule Poirot. Yet with this tour de force Marco Malvaldi succeeds wonderfully' Alexis Liebaert, Marianne.

'The literary equivalent of a delicious, sophisticated dish, cooked with skill and served with grace' Corriere della Sera.

From the Inside Flap

Nothing could please a chef more than a chance to learn the secrets of a Baron's castle kitchen. Having travelled the length and breadth of the country compiling his masterpiece, The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi relishes the prospect of a few days' rest and a boar hunt in the Tuscan hills.
But his peace is short-lived. A body is found in the castle cellar, and the local inspector finds himself baffled by an eccentric array of aristocratic suspects. When the baron himself becomes the target of a second murder attempt, Artusi realises he may need to follow his infallible nose to help find the culprit.
Marco Malvaldi serves up an irresistible dish spiced with mischief and intrigue, and sweetened with classical elegance and wit. His stroke of genius is to bring Italy's first cookery writer to life in this most entertaining of murder mysteries.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TripFiction on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pellegrino Artusi was the real life writer of the first Italian cook book. At the end of the 19th century he travelled the length and breadth of the new country compiling `The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well’ – the first person to bring together recipes from all across the various regions of Italy.

Marco Malvadi has very cleverly taken this historic fact and constructed a Poirotesque mystery starring Artusi. Artusi is invited to Baron Bonaiuti’s Tuscan villa for a weekend’s boar hunt and to check out the secrets of his kitchen. The Baron’s family and the other guests are an eclectic mix of the bizarre and the eccentric. The butler is murdered – but is he really the intended victim? Someone then tries to shoot the Baron, but who and why? There are any number of possible suspects – each with his/her own secrets and motivations…

The local village detective is baffled and, guess what, Artusi has to help him solve the mystery. This he does in painstaking style until all is revealed in a well contrived denouement.

‘The Art of Killing Well’ is a very well constructed read that, as mentioned, is reminiscent of Poirot in style. The characters, and the environment in which they exist, are both well drawn but of a very different age for the modern reader brought up on, for example, Swedish Noir – a quaint (but agreeable) throw-back in time. The forensics and science employed by Artusi are very advanced – but only for the age in which they exist yet they feel pretty primitive to the modern reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Wise on 2 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
IT may be hard to swallow but there are more than a few excellent writers outside of America, Britain and Scandinavia around these days, and the tidy MacLehose Press seem to be the bees knees at finding them.

Here’s a perfect example for a great afternoon read in the sun with a bottle of plonk or a few chilled ones beside the sun lounger. Set in 19th century northern Italy its hero is a guy called Pellegrino Artusi. The name might not ring any bells but he was in real life the Heston Blumenthal of his day, a man who made a science out of cooking, which gives this book its plot driver.

He gets an invite to a Baron Bonaiuti’s swanky manor and the chance to study its famous Tuscan kitchen. When he arrives the place is packed with top nobs...and a corpse. When the Baron nearly joins the murdered butler in the morgue Artusi decides it’s time for him to step in and help the bungling local cops with his particular forensic skills.

With a host of nutjobs and dubious characters thrown into the mixture Maldavi has cooked up a gentle, atmospheric, Agatha Christie-esque number with plenty of tongue-in-cheek wit and period detail in a mystery that finishes with a cute and clever twist. And there’s even a batch of Artusi’s original recipes at the end, if you find yourself peckish. A tasty Michelin Three-Star book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Williams on 2 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I received a review copy of this book from the Historical Novel Society.

It’s 1895. The famous cookery writer, Pellegrino Artusi, has been invited to spend the weekend with a baron and his family. At the castle, there is a murder. (At least we know the butler didn’t do it: he’s the victim.) It was carried out by one of the house party or one of the household servants. A policeman arrives. Suspects are interviewed, the policeman solves the crime. It’s a classic country house murder mystery in the English style, but set in Italy. There’s no real sense of period. I’m not sure that the concept of the weekend was even around in 1895 Italy (the phrase only became common in England in the 20th century). The style is (as the author post-modernly points out) late 19th century, except for the frequent post-modern intrusions. The historical Pellegrino Artusi is not particularly rounded, except in girth, and the other characters have the two‑dimensionality of most country-house murder suspects. The recipes, though, are convincing. All-in-all it’s a pleasant read for Agatha Christie fans, but hardcore historical novel enthusiasts should look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Chao on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amusing but loose account of a murder mystery. Not a bad plot, but the characters are largely predictable. Slightly disappointing.
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