Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, classic mystery in the heat of Modena
translated by Iain Halliday
Cataldo is an introspective and self-contained man, quiet and committed to his job. He is called in when the body of Giulio Zoboli is found in his study, shot through the temple. The assumption is that the death is suicide, but Cataldo and his team soon discover that, as his wife Miriam suspects, Zoboli did not die a natural death...
Published on 28 May 2010 by Maxine Clarke

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This would be a good read if it were not for the grammar!
I enjoyed this but it was hard work. I am not sure whether it is an affectation of the translator to write everything in the present tense or merely a repetition of the style of the author, either way the style is rather grating.
Published on 26 April 2011 by C. B. Tomkinson


Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, classic mystery in the heat of Modena, 28 May 2010
By 
Maxine Clarke "Maxine of Petrona" (Kingston upon Thames, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
translated by Iain Halliday
Cataldo is an introspective and self-contained man, quiet and committed to his job. He is called in when the body of Giulio Zoboli is found in his study, shot through the temple. The assumption is that the death is suicide, but Cataldo and his team soon discover that, as his wife Miriam suspects, Zoboli did not die a natural death.
Zoboli was an academic, working on literary analysis and criticism at Bologna University. He was frustrated because his mentor, Professor Luigi Ramondini, has taken his research findings to present at a conference, ostensibly on his behalf. Not only did Zoboli feel that Ramondini would take the credit that belongs to him, but also Zoboli did not have tenure. The Italian system of awarding university appointments via annual concorsi is famously corrupt and nepotistic. Zoboli was dependent on Ramondini for his chance at a permanent position, so did not insist on presenting the work himself, even though it would have greatly improved his chances of a professorship.
As well as this festering argument, a pale stranger had appeared in town a few days before, asking a hotel manager where Zoboli lives. Calling himself Alberto Ferraro, he followed Zoboli for a while, eventually going to his house and revealing himself to be a fellow academic wanting help with his research. Delighted at the prospect of discussing his work with a fellow-specialist, Zoboli agreed to meet Ferraro later that evening, half an hour before the fatal incident. When Miriam returned home from a couple of days away, she found her husband's body in the study and called the police, in the shape of Inspector Cataldo.
I loved this novel, which was written in 1999 but is only just translated and published in England by the small, independent publisher Hersilia Press. I am so pleased that I've been able to read this book, which certainly has an element of a Father Brown story and a dash of Hercule Poirot, but is distinctive in its own right. The author delivers on all counts: a tight plot which has a satisfying resolution despite a large number of motives and suspects - and indeed, additional murders; a lovely sense of place; and an appealing protagonist. Cataldo is a far cooler customer than his excitable fictional countryman Salvador Montalbano, but is intriguing in his philosophy of life and in his half-revealed past. According to the publisher's website, there are three more Inspector Cataldo novels yet to be translated, and I shall be first in the queue to read them when they are. Iain Halliday has done a lovely job with this book, and I hope he will continue to interpret the rest of the series for English-language readers.
A longer version of this review is at my blog Petrona, []
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This would be a good read if it were not for the grammar!, 26 April 2011
By 
C. B. Tomkinson "Bland" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
I enjoyed this but it was hard work. I am not sure whether it is an affectation of the translator to write everything in the present tense or merely a repetition of the style of the author, either way the style is rather grating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars old-style, leisurely detective story, 6 Aug 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
Criminal Summer has the feel of an old-style detective story, reminding me somewhat of a Poirot-style story. Cataldo is an unflappable, cerebral detective, who's strong on observation and fitting together the pieces of a puzzle. Technically a police procedural, Cataldo works predominately alone and there is very little in terms of back story or internal police politics. And although there is some tension underpinning the narrative, it is understated; the story told in a very sedate fashion, with little hint of violence or conflict. Consequently, the story kind of drifts along at a leisurely pace. That said, the characterisation, plot and sense of place all sufficient to make the book a pleasant experience. However, personally I would have preferred a bit more of a sense of urgency, more realism in the police investigation, and a lot more back story to make the book a truly satisfying read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Irritatingly tedious, 27 Feb 2012
By 
B. Lowe (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
If this novel was meant to be insightful and witty, a lot must have been lost in the translation. As it is: the plot limps along at snail's pace; the characters fail to provide any points of interest and the denouement hardly raises a breath of surpise. Doesn't makes the grade in the competitive world of Eurocrime publishing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer, 24 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. W. Darby-jones "BillDJ" (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
Came across this book by accident and ordered on a whim. I was fed up with a book I was reading and started this one - read over two days. No graphic violence and well written. Compares favourably with other Italian writers. An excellent read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars This just barely managed to keep my interest., 22 Oct 2011
By 
John H. Turner "balletomane" (indianapolis, indiana) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
The characters were mostly 40-something which I had to remind myself of at least once a page. They all acted and sounded like they were 20 years younger. That's where the mystery lay, but none had seemed to move on. I solved it several chapters too soon, but persevered hoping I was wrong. I really never had the sense I was in Italy at all, not to mention a particular part. Donna Leon does a much better job at both.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery swimming in the shallow end of the character pool, 5 Oct 2011
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
"Criminal Summer" is a well spun tale of murder, greed, envy and a gamut of human weaknesses set in 1990s northern Italy. A 20-year old death comes back to seriously disrupt the lives of a group of Italian professionals and intellectuals (yuppies, actually) when the man who was originally convicted for the death returns from prison to confront the person(s) actually responsible. The bodies start to fall from that moment forward.

The story moves along with good speed and is satisfying in its ending, and the writing is good enough to make the reader overlook failings like an overall lack of character depth and some loose ends in the action. A problem I did have with the book was the premise that otherwise well-educated and moral people will jump to the dark side in a whipstitch (with witnesses in attendance) when confronted by temptation in the form of money and fame. Not enough of case is made to support that premise. Fortunately, the reader (in this case, this reader) didn't think about this incongruence until after finishing the rather enjoyable crime story. Another, lesser failing is the lack of much personal information about protagonist, Inspector Cataldo. This is definitely not Salvo Montalbano, Guido Brunetti or Aurelio Zen kind of book.

It is the work of a good writer and skilled translator though. A four minus on the Amazon scale.
.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read, beautifully produced, 21 Jan 2011
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this atmospheric book which evocatively portrays the stifling atmosphere of a small Italian town in the Summer heat. As in all the best crime fiction, every character holds a secret, and the pace accelerates as the murders multiply. This book is beautifully produced, for a modestly-priced paperback. Even after I had finished reading it, I kept picking it up to enjoy the high-quality paper and attractive, clear font. It's not often I praise a paperback for its deliciousness as an object, as well as the story that lies within, but this book deserves it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Highly Irritating - but maybe better in Italian, 6 Sep 2010
By 
KCLS (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer (Paperback)
This book really got up my nose. It's written in the first person, but instead of making me warm to the character I found my self highly irritated by the hero, all the suspects and the victims. And I guessed the murderer way early in the book - like not very good films, sometimes there's no reason for a character in the story if he/she isn't the murderer and in this case she/he is.
There was lots of stuff the detective did which I was deeply uninterested in, and which seemed irrelevant to the plot.
The whole style of the writing I found amateurish. To be fair though, I was reading it in English, and maybe it's the translater's fault and not the author...

I would avoid this series if I were you - stick to something like the Camilleri series instead if you're after Italian detective novels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer
Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer by Luigi Guicciardi (Paperback - 15 Mar 2010)
£6.80
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews