A new crime series full of Italian flavor—the first novel in the Inspector Bordelli series, set in 1960s Florence
Florence, summer 1963. Inspector Bordelli is one of the few policemen left in the deserted city. He spends his days on routine work and his nights tormented by the heat and mosquitoes. Suddenly one night, a telephone call gives him a new sense of purpose: the suspected death of a wealthy signora. Bordelli rushes to her hilltop villa and picks the locks. The old woman is lying on her bed—apparently killed by an asthma attack, though her medicine has been left untouched. With the help of his young protégé, the victim’s eccentric brother, and a semi-retired petty thief, the inspector begins a murder investigation. Each suspect has a solid alibi, but there is something that doesn’t quite add up . . .
Set in Florence in the summer of 1963, Vichi's stellar first in a new mystery series (and his U.S. debut) introduces endearingly melancholic Inspector Bordelli, whose fatigue with life shows in the mirror: "a fifty-three-year-old man... with deep circles under his eyes and sagging cheeks." Professionally, Bordelli continues to irk his supervisor, Commissioner of Police Inzipone, by using his discretion on what offenders to lock up. When the elderly and prickly Signora Pedretti, an asthmatic, is found dead in her bedroom, Bordelli initially suspects natural causes, until her doctor reveals that her attacks were triggered by an allergic reaction to a specific substance not generally found in Florence. That the cap to the signora's medication was screwed on tightly also suggests foul play. Vichi (Death in Florence) delivers a plausible solution worthy of a golden age crime novel. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this flawed hero.