Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano (2016, 2017)

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario GiordanoDeep down I really like old-fashioned mysteries. It goes back to my love of the Three Investigators and Trixie Belden as a girl, I suppose! I draw the line these days at restaurateurs who find bodies in the whipping cream, so finding the right balance between a cozy and too-cute isn’t always easy. But here’s a new author to follow. Isolde Oberreider, known to her family as Poldi, is grieving the passing of her husband Peppe. Drowning her sorrows – in good wine, mind you – she impulsively decides to move to Sicily for a sea view, a place where she can drink herself to death in comfort, though she is only just marking her 60th birthday. She buys a rather dilapidated villa that meets her exacting standards for good energy, and sets about restoring it with the help of the young and handsome Valentino. Soon after she moves in, her helper disappears in mid-job. Poldi searches for him and eventually finds his body. While waiting for the police to show up, she vows to find his killer, a promise that leads her all around Sicily, nearly costs her life more than once, and brings about the handsome detective Vito Montana. The plot is perhaps the weakest point in this character-driven story, and oh the characters are captivating. Poldi herself is a delight with her “hunting instinct” and passion for wigs, sex, and booze. I especially enjoy her sparring with her nephew who narrates the story when he is in Sicily; otherwise it’s told in the third person. Despite the author’s Italian name, the book was originally published in German Giordano wrote this originally in German, and the translation is by John Brownjohn, who seems to have done an adequate job. The Sicilian setting renders perfectly, with lemon groves and beaches, smelly mine sites and rundown estates. Perfect for fans of Louise Penny or Jean-Luc Bannalec’s Brittany series.
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One thought on “Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano (2016, 2017)

  1. You’re so right about finding the sweet spot today in the cozy mystery genre. (And not sweetened by whipped cream either!) I read Auntie Poldi several months ago and agree with you that she is one for the ‘add series TBR’ list. Unfortunately, there are only two books thus far, with another slated for 2019.

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