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Death of a Serpent (A Serafina Florio Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 300 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
This Serafina Florio Mystery (the first in the series) features Serafina Florio, widowed mother of seven, local midwife, and amateur sleuth extraordinaire. Serafina is the archetypical strong, warm, very family oriented Italian matriarch of her large family. Although she is not without her unique faults and foibles, she always acts with the best interests of her family in mind and at heart.
Madam Rosa (Serafina's long time friend) runs a high class brothel located next to the Tyrrhenian Sea on the outskirts of Oltramari. First Gemma, then Nelli and Bella, and finally Gusti, (Rosa's working girls) are killed by some unknown serial killer. Rosa pleads with her friend Serafina to use her super sleuthing powers to find the killer that is targeting her girls.
As Serafina deals with her own family drama, trials, and tribulations, she dives in to help her friend Rosa find the culprit behind the killings. This story ends on a most wonderful note and the killer is totally a BIG surprise the reader will not see coming.
Author Susan Russo Anderson's novel is an astonishingly, delicious adventure and will be a pleasurable delight for the historical, mystery genera readers.
This is an intriguing, well-crafted murder mystery with great characters who are portrayed with sympathy by the author. While the murders do not take a backseat in the story in terms of events, the novel largely showcases the characters' lives, giving depth and realism to the story, and providing it with great balance. There are touches of humor, which nicely arrive at unexpected moments in the narrative, and the author's description of 1860s Sicily is vivid, complementing the story to a large degree with its authenticity. An absorbing read, DEATH OF A SERPENT is a credit to the author, who brings it all together with elegance and humanity.
The setting comes to life with descriptions that are so artfully written I seemed to see them rather than to read them. From the ordinary citizen to the well-heeled, the author recreated life in the 19th century while involving all the reader's senses. I felt the anxiety, saw the gorgeous gowns of the prostitutes, smelled the foul monk, and wished I could have tasted the variety of Italian cooking, pastries, and espresso mentioned. The dialogue was in English, but it sounded Italian because of the author's skillful sentence construction.
I hesitate to discuss characters in this novel, because they seemed more like real people to me. Even though there are several strong female roles in the novel, each person was distinct in appearance, mannerisms, and speech. The banter between Rosa and Serafina, the quirks of each prostitute interviewed, the maddening lack of logic by Inspector Colonna, and the endearing qualities of each of Serafina's children brought them to life for me.
The plot unfolds slowly, and even though there was time to form my own theories, the ending was a complete surprise, believable, and satisfying.
If you like your mysteries easy to gulp in one sitting without much concentration on your part, you might not enjoy Death of a Serpent. The difference is like grabbing a fast-food sandwich from the drive-up window instead of getting comfortable in an elegant ristorante to savor several courses of Italian cuisine while surrounded by stunning art.
Brava! I look forward to reading more stories from this author.
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