Summary and book reviews of Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

by Mario Giordano

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano X
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2019, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Gary Presley
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About this Book

Book Summary

For fans of A Man Called Ove and the novels of Adriana Trigiani, a charming, delightfully sexy, and bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.

On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. But Sicily isn't quite the tranquil island she thought it would be, and something always seems to get in the way of her relaxation. When her handsome young handyman goes missing—and is discovered murdered—she can't help but ask questions. 

Soon there's an investigation, a smoldering police inspector, a romantic entanglement, one false lead after another, a rooftop showdown, and finally, of course, Poldi herself, slightly tousled but still perfectly poised. 

This "masterly treat" (Times Literary Supplement) will transport you to the rocky shores of Torre Archirafi, to a Sicily full of quirky characters, scorching days, and velvety nights, alongside a protagonist who's as fiery as the Sicilian sun.

Chapter One

Describes how and why Poldi moves to Sicily and what her sisters-in-law think of it. Unable to function without her wig and a bottle of brandy, Poldi invites everyone to a roast pork lunch, makes her nephew an offer he can't refuse, and gets to know her neighbours in the Via Baronessa. One of them goes missing soon afterwards.

On her sixtieth birthday my Auntie Poldi moved to Sicily, intending to drink herself comfortably to death with a sea view. That, at least, was what we were all afraid of, but something always got in the way. Sicily is complicated?—you can't simply die there; something always gets in the way. Then events speeded up, and someone was murdered, and nobody admitted to having seen or known a thing. It goes without saying that my Auntie Poldi, being the pig-headed Bavarian she was, had to take matters in hand herself and sort them out. And that was when problems arose. 

My Auntie Poldi: a glamorous figure, always ready to ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Giordano has a talent for turning a few words into a portrait-in-depth, an example being his description of a slender young dilettante as looking like every French film director’s dream – "unbearably lonely, ultra-sexy, Sartre-reading Gallic beauty." He’s no slouch either as he deepens the narrative with descriptions of food, sidewalk cafes, and Sicily’s intense blue sky, but nothing’s done better than bringing the wry, and world-wise Sicilian people to the page. Word is that Auntie Poldi is the first of a series, but more courses to come or not, this initial effort is a veritable caponata siciliana – a tasty stew of food and culture, romance and mystery.   (Reviewed by Gary Presley).

Full Review (593 words).

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Media Reviews

The Times (UK)
Mario Giordano — a Bavarian of Sicilian parentage who writes in German — has created a delightful detective and a lively, humorous portrait of Sicilian society and gastronomy.

Publishers Weekly
Despite some clunky moments, such as the recurring appearance of the figure of Death, Poldi's pursuit of Valentino's killers is done with breezy good humor. Wry, appreciative observations of Sicilian food, people, and history herald a series worth tracking.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Giordano's wit and his formidable heroine's wisdom combine to make this debut a smash.

Reader Reviews

Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)

Auntie Mame in Sicily!
Loved this book! Auntie Poldi is a woman of a certain age, reminiscent of an aging flower child, who is headstrong, stubborn, quirky and adventurous, and just a little lustful. Well, maybe not just a little. She shares experiences with her nephew,...   Read More

Laura M. (Norfolk, NE)

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
This was a fun read, not an overly heavy mystery. Auntie Poldi is bold, reckless, and stubborn, which makes her a thoroughly delightful character to follow. It will appeal to fans of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Nancy H. (Lisle, IL)

Witty, funny, great!
This fabulous book has a light touch, stellar writing, mystery, love and sex (ahem...among older folks...), and a warm Italian setting. I loved it.

Beverly J. (Hoover, AL)

Lively, Smart, and Dynamic
A gutsy protagonist, Auntie Poldi, who has experienced the vicissitudes of life and has a passion for cocktails and virile men in uniforms has "retired" to Sicily to drink wine and admire the scenery until a young reliable handyman disappears. As ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Trinacria

TrinacriaAuntie Poldi, in Mario Giordano's Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, is intrigued when she encounters an unusual tattoo on the murder victim. It's Sicily's trinacria, an heraldic-style image whose origins linger in the shadows of Greek mythology.

Heraldry (the art of devising and displaying armorial insignia) may have begun on the battlefield as a means of identifying a rally point for warriors, or the warriors' allegiance. It's an easy assumption that heraldry could pre-date the written word and historical records. One royal house may have chosen lions rampant, for example, and another the fleur-de-lis, which are both emblems of nobility, bravery, and strength. There are dozens of these ancient emblems that first may have been ...

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