Lucretia Grindle's latest novel, Villa Triste, is an engaging blend of historical fiction and present day murder mystery. In alternating chapters she provides detailed insight into life during WWII Italy while at the same time drawing her readers into a satisfyingly complex detective procedural.
The opening chapters are narrated by Catarina Commaccio, a young woman on the verge of marrying Lodo, an Italian Navy officer, on September 8, 1943 the day the King of Italy surrenders to the Allies (see "Beyond the Book"). A nurse, Catarina is an eyewitness to the impact of war on the civilian population of Florence as the Allies and Axis powers fight to control the territory. She is gradually drawn into helping the Italian Partisans in their battle against the Germans and Benito Mussolini's Fascists.
A second storyline is set in modern-day Florence as Inspector ...
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