Death of an Englishman – Magdalen Nabb

A speedy read, on a lazy New Year’s Day, and so an appropriately festive time to read the first novel in the Marshal Guarnaccia series …. not that you’d be able to tell that from the list of other novels by Magdalen Nabb printed that the front of the book (unless they’re in reverse chronological order).

Strangely enough, the Marshall is laid low with flu for most of the novel, only coming to the fore to apply his common sense to solve the crime eluding his colleagues and two detectives from Scotland Yard: the murder of retired Englishman, Andrew Langley-Smythe – shot in the back in his ground floor (horrors!) apartment in Florence’s antique district.

The English detectives add to the plot’s a mix of English ex-pats – the vicar and his wife, endlessly offering (and yearning for) tastes of home, the eccentric Miss White and inhabitants of the English library in Florence. On the Italian side, the focus is on new Carabinieri Bacci, resplendent in his uniform but woefully inexperienced, and the other residents of Langley-Smythe’s building ….

Not the best in the series. link: Death of an Englishman – Magdalen Nabb