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.

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 • 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;
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~ 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?

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Blair McDowell