Review: The Dance of the Seagull – Andrea Camilleri

I apologise that my email notification system is not working very well at the moment. While some subscribers are receiving emails for every post, some are receiving none. I have tried and failed to resolve this problem and am in the process of installing a new system to which I have to transfer all the [...]

Review: A Private Venus – Georgio Scerbanenco

I’m writing this week about two examples of “Noir” crime fiction. On Monday I featured Severe by French writer Régis Jauffret. Today my featured book is an example of Italian Noir, A Private Venus by Giorgio Scerbanenco published by Italian crime fiction specialists, Hersilia Press. Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) is described in the introduction as “the [...]

Review: New Finnish Grammar – Diego Marani

The subdued art-work on the cover matches the plain title of this book, but first impressions in a book-shop can be safely ignored – Diego Marani’s New Finnish Grammar is a very inventive and unusual book, which I would place in my top two books read this year.

The book opens in Trieste in September [...]

Review: The Age of Doubt – Andrea Camillieri

I’m new to Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series of books. The Age of Doubt is number 14 so I have a lot of catching up to do. A bit of research on Andrea Camilleri showed me that he (yes, Andrea is a man not a woman) is now 87 years old and wrote his [...]

Review: How I Lost the War – Fillipo Bologna

A new novel from Pushkin Press is always welcome and How I Lost The War proved to be as expected, a witty but thought-provoking read with bags of Italian flavour to transport readers into fragrant Tuscan summers – but this is no rural idyll, for it is about to be transformed by powerful forces of [...]

Review: The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Every so often one comes across a book which makes you feel that you should have known about this years ago, that one’s literary education was incomplete before you read it. Lampedusa’s The Leopard is one of these. I suppose its relative obscurity is because, a. Lampedusa only wrote this one novel, and b. it [...]