Included in CrimeReads's list of February's Best International Crime Fiction
Included in Chicago Review of Books's list of Winter's Best Thrillers
Included in CBC Radio's The Homestretch's Fall 2019 Mystery Selections
"Bellini and the Sphinx is the American debut for the wildly popular Sao Paulo-based crime series written by Bellotto, the celebrated Brazilian guitarist and writer. His private eye, Remo Bellini, is a conscious homage to Philip Marlowe and the classic noir American detectives, but with an identity all his own and a milieu, the streets of Sao Paulo, that are as alive and mysterious as any you'll come across in the genre. American readers have waited too long for this, but they'll finally get the chance to visit Brazil through Bellotto/Bellini's eyes."
Included in CrimeReads's List of The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019
"Originally published in Portuguese in 1995, Bellotto's series opener introduces Remo Bellini, a private eye in the tradition of Spade and Marlowe but distinctively Brazilian...Bellotto's detective, less ironic and more earnest in his angst than his American counterparts, proves a compelling guide to the passionate world of São Paulo."
"Previously published in Brazilian rock musician Bellotto's native country, the São Paolo–set noir follows private detective Remo Bellini, who is investigating the disappearance of several women connected to the underworld and the related murder of a famed surgeon. Bellotto says he modeled his PI on Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and that the plot, which involves prostitutes and live-sex performers, evokes two classically intertwined themes: sex and death."
"Private detective Remo Bellini plunges into the underworld of São Paulo in search of [a] missing dancer at the behest of her married lover, a renowned surgeon, who soon turns up dead."
--Publishers Weekly, Included in Spring 2019 Announcements / Mysteries & Thrillers
"The dialogue and interactions between [Remo and Dora Loba] are fantastic, and lent some much-needed lightness to the story. Both of these characters are well-drawn and thoughtful, so I do hope that these books continue to be translated for us English readers."
--I've Read This
"Bellini is a classic private eye, having fallen into the career from a failed attempt at the law...If a reader were interested in knowing what hard-boiled detective fiction is all about, this would be a good place to start."
"Bellini and the Sphinx is an enjoyable light ride, with enough variety to keep readers interested."
--The Complete Review
"Tony Bellotto has written his novel in the best noir tradition. The book, in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, grips the reader from beginning to surprising end. Bellini and the Sphinx is a landmark in Western crime fiction."
--Paulo Lins, author of City of God
Who is the missing dancer Ana Cíntia Lopes? Why did her coworkers, Camila and Dinéia, disappear? What does the voluptuous prostitute Fatima want? Who killed renowned surgeon Dr. Samuel Rafidjian? And what is the role of the hulking live-sex performer known as the Indian?
To confront the puzzle of several sphinxes, most of them female, private detective Remo Bellini plunges into the underworld of São Paulo. Little by little, the mysteries unravel in a surprising fashion, until the solving of the final enigma leaves Bellini perplexed, with a bitter taste in his mouth.
Translated from Brazilian Portuguese into English by Clifford E. Landers.
This detective novel from Brazilian author Bellotto (editor of S o Paulo Noir), the first in his Remo Bellini series, starts off strong but falls flat in its overly familiar execution. Remo's boss, the Tiperillo smoking Dora Lobo, calls him in to meet pediatric surgeon Samuel Rafidjian. The married doctor wants to find Ana C ntia Lopes, a dancer from the Dervish, a S o Paulo night club, whom he has been seeing for several months. Ana has disappeared, and no one at the Dervish claims to know her, let alone knows where she's gone. Bellini takes on the case, but things take a deadly turn when Rafidjian ends up gruesomely murdered with his own umbrella. Who is responsible for his death, and how is it related to the missing Ana? In standard PI mode, Bellini drinks too much, listens to the blues, and isn't above breaking the law to get what he wants. Worse, the dialogue lacks the sharp grittiness of the hardboiled fiction of Hammett or Chandler Bellotto's obvious influences and the ending feels pulled out of thin air. Hopefully, book two will show more originality.