Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Fatal Touch (Commissario Alec Blume #2)The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a lover of Donna Leon’s Venetian detective, Guido Brunetti, and Andrea Camilleri’s Sicilian detective Silvo Montalbano, you will enjoy Conor Fitzgerald’s Commissario Alec Blume, of the Rome Polizia. Blume is an interesting character, a transplanted American with a fascinating back story which I won’t spoil by disclosing here. But all the aspects I’ve come to love in Italian detective stories are present in Fitzgerald’s books. There is the setting—Rome. There is the often problematic relationship between the two police forces, the Carabinieri and the Polizia—just as there is in the Leon’s and Camilleri’s books. But this is no simple copy-cat detective story. Blume is a fully fleshed, interesting character, and Fitzgerald’s plot in The Fatal Touch, involving, art fraud and forgery, is complex and compelling. The fact that the story is told against the backdrop of Rome and involves its incredible art is simply a plus.

Fitzgerald draws characters with a clear and concise touch. I can see the young woman officer, Caterina and the crooked Carabinieri Colonel on the Art Fraud Team. I like the character who re-enters this book from Fitzgerald’s earlier novel, The Dogs of Rome, as owner of the dog Blume rescued in that book.

I look forward to reading the next Fitzgerald book featuring Commissario Alec Blume. And I highly recommend The Fatal Touch to all readers of detective stories.


View all my reviews
 
I currently have three published novels and one short story. I hope you will add them to your reading list and let me know if you enjoy them. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews of my booksTo purchase one of these books, just click on the link and choose the vendor of your choice.


 • The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family.  It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.


"The Memory of Roses by Blair McDowell is simply an incredibly lovely story. It’s also a love story, and a story about finding yourself, and about closure. The theme running through the book is “all’s well that ends well.”  --  Marlene, Reading Reality



 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!

"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews




 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations 
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 

It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

“I found Sonata to be a charming novel that left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a delight to read.” – Night Owl Reviews




 • Abigails Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?









Friday, 11 January 2013

Review of The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon

The Girl of His Dreams (Commissario Guido Brunetti #17)The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In each of her books featuring Venetian detective Guido Brunetti, Leon tackles a current and relevant issue, moral, religious, or political, in the context of the case before him. Always in her books, Brunetti, a highly intelligent, ethical, honest policeman is besieged by forces beyond his control to “solve” the case in a way that is most expedient or convenient for his superiors, his political bosses, the moneyed interests, and/or the church.

A man who reads Greek philosophy to relax, Brunetti is seldom able to resolve a case to his own satisfaction, even though he nearly always arrives at the truth.

The issue disclosed and running like a thread thoughout The Girl of His Dreams is the ever-increasing nomad population of Italy, Zingari, Rom, Sinti, and Nomadi, commonly referred to as Gypsies. These immigrants, who are able to cross Italy’s borders legally because of lax immigration laws, now number some 40% of the total Italian population, and account for about 80% of the inmates of Italy’s jails, according to Leon. By inclination and tradition, Gypsies make their living through theft and train their children early to be beggars and thieves.

The “girl” of the title is a ten-year old who drowns in a canal, with evidence that she fell there from the roof top of the building above. On her are items that clearly were stolen. Did she fall or was she pushed? She’s a mere child and Brunetti’s sympathies are aroused. He wants to know the truth, but he’s blocked at every turn by both the community of Gypsies and by his own superiors.

Like all of the Brunetti series, this deeply disturbing and beautifully written novel is definitely a thinking person’s book. I consider it to be one of Leon’s best.


View all my reviews  

I currently have three published novels and one short story. I hope you will add them to your reading list and let me know if you enjoy them. All are on my Goodreads page, so you can share your 'review' there if you choose.  To purchase one of these books, just click on the book's link and choose the vendor of your choice.

 • The Memory of Roses ~ The enduring love story of two generations of the McQuaid family unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu. It is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.


 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!


 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some startling situations:  
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 
It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

 • Abigails Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?