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Commissario Alessandro Cenni delves into the secret lives of the members of the aristocratic Casati family in Assisi, Italy, after their American niece is murdered during Holy Week in Brophy's rock-solid debut. When Brooklyn transplant Rita Minelli turns up dead in the family cemetery vault, Cenni interrogates her relatives, who were not pleased when she came to live with them and don't seem especially sorry to see her go. Cenni is positive that one of the Casatis is the murderer; his only question, considering that each appears to have had either motive or the means, is who. The deeper he probes, the more this family makes the Borgias look well adjusted. This well-paced murder mystery carries the reader along even after the identity of the culprit becomes clear. Believable narrative twists combined with excellent characterization, rich dialogue and a finely depicted setting will please lovers of old-style deductive detective fiction. (May)
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Unlike Tuscany, Rome, and Sicily, Umbria has tended to be underserved by the recent boom in Italian crime novels. That changes with this new series from first-novelist Brophy, an American who has lived in Italy for many years. Set in Assisi and starring Alessandro Cenni, a maverick commissario with the Italian state police, the novel concerns the murder of an American during Holy Week. The victim, niece of a powerful Assisi family, had made no shortage of enemies since arriving from Brooklyn, but Cenni's investigation is roadblocked from the get-go by the formidable right-wing connections of the Casati clan. But the jeans-clad, bedroom-eyed, unmarried Cenni never met a bureaucracy he wasn't willing to stampede, and the fireworks begin. Brophy has a good feel for charactersCenni's colleagues, family members, and adversaries are all full-fledged personalitiesand she turns Assisi's landscape, religion-soaked history, and near-impregnable insularity into powerful tools for generating a foreboding tone. Cenni is sure to please fans of David Hewson's Nic Costa, and all readers of Italian mysteries will want to add Umbria to their literary itineraries. Ott, BillSee all Editorial Reviews
Gotta love the Italian way of doing detective work. It's a carefully planned performance by the commisario to get the killer with all the Italian innuendos included.Published 3 months ago by R. Campsie
I read a lot of mysteries. My favorites are ones, like this one from Grace Brophy, that are set in a place (and/or time) that is different from where I live. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Noonski
I like mysteries,but especially mysteries set in Europe. This was a good one,interesting murder mystery set in Italy. it had some length and interesting characters.Published 17 months ago by SS
Grace Brophy brings you to Umbria where this tale is set. It is extremely well researched and gives you a real feel for the area and the people.Published on January 18, 2012 by Amazon Customer
I was excited to read a mystery set in Italy. This book did deliver in some ways - I did learn a good bit about Italy and Italian culture. Read morePublished on June 21, 2011 by Kelly
This is an excellent police procedural which is much, much more than the usual. In fact, it's one of the best of its genre I've read in some time. Read morePublished on June 19, 2010 by James H. Moran
I love carefully crafted novels set in interesting locations, populated with interesting characters. "The Last Enemy" is just such a book. Read morePublished on November 18, 2009 by Dom Miliano
I purchased and read "A Deadly Paradise" prior to knowing "The Last Enemy" existed and was the first in a series. Read morePublished on September 10, 2009 by CFT
The Last Enemy introduces Alessandro Cenni, a maverick state police commissario, in Assisi, Umbria, Italy. Read morePublished on September 3, 2009 by Lucinda Surber