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The Marshal at the Villa Torrini (A Florentine Mystery) Paperback – July 1, 2009
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Praise for Magdalen Nabb
—The New York Times Book Review
"Every word should be savored."
—Washington Post Book World
"The best mystery news in ages is that Soho is restoring to the canon Magdalen Nabb and her tremendous creation, Marshal Guarnaccia of the Italian Police in Florence."
"Nabb continues to extend conventions of the police procedural to suit her own intriguing vision and purpose."
About the Author
Magdalen Nabb was born in Lancashire and trained as a potter. In 1975, she left her old life behind and moved with her son to Florence, where she knew no one and even though she didn't speak any Italian, but where she fell in love with the local setting. Her Marshal Guarnaccia series, which has been translated into ten languages, was inspired by a real local marshal she befriended in the tiny pottery town of Montelupo Fiorentino. Nabb wrote children's fiction and crime novels until her death in 2007.
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Top customer reviews
In this novel the characters of the Sardinian recruit Giuseppe Fara, Substitute Prosecutor Fusari, and Captain Maestrangelo, lend a different flavor to the Florentine mix. If there is one disappointment with the Nabb novels, it is that Captain Maestrangelo was never fully developed. But this book does present us with a rich collections of characters, even the least sympathetic of characters and I mean the Englishman widow Forbes who is one the most unappealing characters I have met in mysteries, and as such should be read with particular attention to the author's nuances.
Yes, this a competent and befuddling mystery but so much more, a carnival of people preforming on the stage of florence.
Like some well-selling mysteries set in Italy and Canada, nothing much happens, and what does happen involves more thinking than action. It's not as dull as some cozies, and is better written than a lot of mysteries. The reader cares about the Marshall, but the other characters are written so sketchily that it's difficult to summon much interest in them. Some of the characters are unsympathetic, and it's not clear that the author intended all of them to be. Most readers will guess the big secret midway through the book, but there are still a couple of mild surprises at the end.
This book may be the ideal reading material for excentric elderly English spinsters who speak to their dead Pomeranians or Pekinese and don't wish to have their pulses quickened.
I actually read every last word -- even to the final page -- to ensure that there was not some exceedingly clever turn of events that would make the pedestrian writing and jumble of disjointed events come together brilliantly. Nothing to fear: the author did not pull a Columbo.
If you have the choice, watch water dehydrate. It will prove to be more satisfying by several orders of magnitude.