Gialli! Italian Mysteries
Annotation:This fan website offers extensive coverage of mystery series set in Italy as well as information on film and television adaptations.
Annotation:The first mystery featuring Inspector Montalbano, set in the fictional Sicilian town of Vigàta. The author on his award-winning series: "In many crime novels, the events seem detached from the context. I deliberately decided to smuggle in a critical commentary on my times."
Annotation:Hard-boiled Mediterranean noir. Like the author, Carlotto's private investigator protagonist, the Alligator, and served time for a crime he didn't commit. Set in Padua.
Annotation:The second novel in the Guido Guerrieri series set in Bari. Suspense and solid character development are on offer in these legal thrillers written by a former anti-mafia prosecutor.
Annotation:The first Aurelio Zen mystery from acclaimed British crime writer Michael Dibdin. The somewhat jaded Commissario Zen, a Venetian by birth, navigates the police bureaucracy in Rome, trying to achieve some good without doing harm to himself.
Annotation:"Gadda’s sublimely different detective story presents a scathing picture of fascist Italy while tracking the elusiveness of the truth, the impossibility of proof, and the infinite complexity of the workings of fate, showing how they come into conflict with the demands of justice and love." (NYRB) Translated by William Weaver.
Annotation:Meet Nic Costa, an idealistic young police detective with a passion for art and for running. Both of these will be useful as he investigates a multiple murder with connections to the Vatican. Set in Rome.
Annotation:Commissario Guido Brunetti loves his family, his city, his food and reads Tacitus on his terrace in his quiet moments. He's also a persistent and insightful detective who usually solves the crime even if he knows that the culprit won't necessarily be brought to justice. Enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Venice as well as a subtle look at the corruption in contemporary Italian society in this popular series.
Annotation:This brief but breathless novel is the first in the Commissario De Luca trilogy. Set in Milan in April 1945 as Mussolini and fascist party members are attempting to flee to Switzerland, where justice and politics don't mix.
Annotation:Bologna in 1948. As Commissario De Luca investigates a death in the city's red light district, the reader gains insight into the chaos of post-war Italy.
Annotation:The first Maresciallo Guarnaccia mystery, set in Florence. The seemingly phlegmatic Marshall, a transplant from Sicily, is a more acute observer and thinker than some give him credit for. The fact that Nabb lived in Florence for over 30 years is apparent in her intimate portrait of the city.
Annotation:An eager new police captain working to solve a murder is at cross purposes with the real authority in town. A penetrating look at how the mafia works, how the truth is kept hidden from the master of the metaphysical mystery. Set in Sicily.
Annotation:An amatuer sleuth unwinds a web of intrigue, corruption and murder, violating the tacit rules of his small Sicilian community with tragic results.
Annotation:This chillingly hillarious caper set in Venice is not a traditional mystery. Muriel Spark offers up political and romantic intrigue in her classic nuanced and shrewdly observed style.
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Feel like heading to Rome, Venice, Florence, Bari? How about a trip to Sicily? Be warned! This is no tourist trip; these mysteries set in Italy examine what lies underneath the centuries of art and culture, delicious food and glorious landscapes. Our list includes Italian writers in translation as well as English language novelists and a range of popular to more literary fiction.