A Murder in Tuscany: Book summary and reviews of A Murder in Tuscany by Christobel Kent

A Murder in Tuscany

A Mystery

By Christobel Kent

A Murder in Tuscany
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

Sandro Cellini, P. I., Florence's answer to Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti, returns in this atmospheric mystery set in a forbidding castle.

As Sandro Cellini comes to grips with the tough realities of life as a private detective, touting for business among old contacts and following errant teenagers, an old case comes back to haunt him.

Once the subject of a routine background check back in Sandro's earliest days as a private investigator, the glamorous, charming, and ruthless Loni Meadows, the director of an American-Italian artistic retreat in a castle in the hills outside Florence, goes off the icy road in her car one night. The circumstances of her death seem less than accidental to Sandro. However inconvenient his suspicions might be, both to Sandro - whose marriage appears to be disintegrating in the aftermath of his wife's illness - and to Meadows's erstwhile employers, the detective presses on. As he attempts to uncover the truth of Meadows's violent and lonely death, Sandro finds himself drawn into the lives of the castle's highly strung community and the closed world they inhabit in the isolated Etruscan hills of the Maremma.

Reminiscent of a locked-room mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, A Murder in Tuscany leads the reader from one possible perpetrator to the next; to Sandro's chagrin, all of the artists in residence at the time of Loni's demise had more than enough reason to dislike her. But who in the group had the most compelling motive to want her dead? 

Kent is a masterful investigator of character and mood, and her second mystery conveys the gloom of the Orfeo castle as well as the individual dark lives of its inhabitants in a chilling, memorable way.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The sleuth's ingenious detection of evidence pointing toward foul play portends a long and successful series run. Louise Penny fans will find a lot to like. " - Publishers Weekly

"It's dark... setting and shady characters creat[e] a truly compelling atmosphere, ably assisted by Kent's taut and convincing prose. This combination proves irresistible, making A Murder in Tuscany an elegant and beautifully constructed mystery." - Booktime

"A convincing, atmospheric, and darkly thrilling novel." - The Good Book Guide

"[A]nother absorbing mystery from Kent, in which the cloistered, claustrophobic world of the castle perfectly complements her intense, observational style." - Yorkshire Evening Post

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Christobel Kent was born in London in 1962 and now lives in Cambridge with her husband and four children; in between she lived in Florence. She worked in publishing for several years, most recently as Publicity Director at Andre Deutsch. Her debut novel A Party in San Niccolo, was published in 2003. Other novels include Late Season and A Florentine Revenge.

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