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Back to Bologna (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)by Michael Dibdin
Synopses & Reviews
When the corpse of the shady industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed. Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen is called to Bologna to oversee the investigation. Recovering slowly from surgery, and fleeing an equally painful crisis in his personal life, Zen is only too happy to take on what at first appears to be a routine and relatively undemanding assignment...
But soon a world-famous university professor is shot with the same gun, immediately after publicly humiliating Italy's leading celebrity television chef — the case spins out of control and Zen is in no condition to rise to the challenge. There's also a wild card in the pack — Tony Speranza, Bologna's most flamboyant private detective.
"In Gold Dagger-winner Dibdin's fine 10th Aurelio Zen mystery (after 2004's Mesuda), the neurotic ace detective investigates the murder of Bologna millionaire entrepreneur Lorenzo Curti, who was found in his Audi impaled on a Parmesan cheese knife. Curti was not only the owner of Bologna's immensely popular football club but also part of a shady dairy conglomerate suspected of tax evasion. Meanwhile, bumbling PI Tony Speranza checks on the activities of Vincenzo Amadori, a high-flying socialite and soccer fan, whose prominent parents fret about his off-hours activities. In a comical subplot, Amadori's roommate, Rodolfo, a semiotics student, feuds with Edgardo Ugo ('Professor Ego' to his students), who's embroiled in a public cook-off contest with 'Lo Chef,' the star of a TV food show. This lively escapade casts modern Italy's many social and political problems in an amusing but realistic light. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Back to Bologna is the sprightliest entry in the Zen oeuvre for a good few years...Barely a page goes by without a big laugh....I can't wait until Dibdin takes us [to Italy] again." Daily Telegraph (UK)
"With a nod to Italian-based crime writers like Donna Leon and Magdalen Nabb, Dibdin drags other fictional cops into this caper, which ambles from the medieval squares and open-air food markets of the city to the grand interiors of its fabled lecture halls — before ending hilariously in the 'exuberantly filthy' kitchen of a pizza joint." New York Times
"Dibdin...satirizes TV spinmeisters, academe, private-eye conventions and midlife angst. You can't help but be charmed by his string-pulling, even if it does give the corpse short shrift." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] plenty tasty blend of tragedy and comedy." Booklist
In the latest installment in his critically acclaimed Italian mystery series, Michael Didbin sends Aurelio Zen to Italy's culinary capital, Bologna, where he discovers that some cases are not quite what they appear to be.
In the latest installment in his critically acclaimed Italian mystery series, Michael Didbin sends Aurelio Zen to Italys culinary capital, Bologna, where he discovers that some cases are not quite what they appear to be.
When the corpse of the shady Bologna industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed with a Parmesan knife, Aurelio Zen is summoned to oversee the investigation. Anxious for a break from his girlfriend, who attributes Zens slow recovery from routine surgery to hypochondria, he is only too happy to take on what first appears to be an undemanding assignment. The case quickly spins out of control, becoming entangled with the fates of a student semiotics, a mysterious immigrant claiming to be royalty, and Bolognas most incompetent private detective. Meanwhile a prominent postmodern academic accuses Italys leading celebrity chef of being a fraud. Back to Bologna is dazzlingly plotted and delivers both comic and serious insights into the realities of todays Italy.
About the Author
Michael Dibdin is the author of fourteen previous novels including And Then You Die, Blood Rain, and A Long Finish. A native of England, he now lives in Seattle, Washington.
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