I don't know about you, but with the pleasant weather we've been having my mind has turned to summery thoughts and fantasies of traveling somewhere far away and exotic. Italy is one of my favorite places, though sadly it has been a very long time since I've traveled there (or well, anywhere to be honest). Last year I had a little reading project going: Summering in Italy. I was having a little crime/mystery binge Italian-style, and I enjoyed myself so much I am ready to do it again. I know it's a little early to be in summer mode, but I think I'm ready to start reading a few mysteries set in Italy at least. Armchair travel is about the only kind I can contemplate at the moment, since a trip so far away requires not only careful planning but also cash. I have an abundance of one and none of the other. And, well, books are always the next best thing really--books and a little imagination.
I've been working on a list of possible reads. They are a mix of mysteries and crime novels by both Italian authors and writers writing in English but with an Italian setting. I won't get to everything on my list and I may well add more titles to it, but this is where I'm starting my project. If you've come across a good mystery or crime novel with an Italian setting, do please share it. Some of these books are part of ongoing series and others are standalones. And they are set all over geographically.
Girl with the Crystal Eyes by Barbara Baraldi - Bologna, sounds like a little serial killer action in this one
Blood Sisters by Alessandro Perissinotto - Anna Pavesi/Milan, this one is totally new to me
A Deadly Paradise by Grace Brophy - Inspector Alessandro Cenni/Perugia, read the first and was left with a little cliffhanger (or, there was promise to something interesting in the second book that was alluded to in the first anyway), sadly there seem to be only two books written thus far
Quietly in Their Sleep (aka Death of Faith) by Donna Leon - Commmissario Guido Brunetti/Venice, it may have been in my pre-blogging days that I was actively reading these, but I am ready to get back (Brunetti's wife is a Henry James scholar from what I recall)
The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald - Police Chief Commissioner Alec Blume/Rome
Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio - (defense lawyer) Guido Guerrieri/Bari, I was set to read this one last year but then got distracted (as I am want to do so often!)
Death in a Serene City by Edward Sklepowich - Urbino McIntyre/Venice, have had a number of books by Sklepowich for a very, very long time (may even have read one at some point, but it's all faded from memory, I'm afraid)
A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin - Florence 1855, did read this one a long time ago and recall being intrigued by it (should really read Zen, shouldn't ?!)
The Drowning River by Christobel Kent - Sandro Cellini/Florence
The Salati Case by Tobias Jones - (private investigator) Castagnetti, by chance this is sitting on the top of my pile
I haven't quite decided which book to start with--one of the shorter crime novels or one of the cozies/police procedurals. A few of the authors I read last year and hope to continue on with their work and I also hope to pick up a few books by authors who are either new to me or who I've not visited in far too long (like Donna Leon). I shouldn't be starting yet another project, but as there are no rules to reading, why not!
As a side note--I'll be posting on an abbreviated schedule this week (and maybe next as well). Work has been hectic and I feel as though I'm burning the candle on both ends. It's starting to wear on me physically. There isn't enough time to do all the things I want to do no matter how hard I try and squeeze it all in. And I'd like to spend more time reading and relaxing in the evenings, so I need to slow down just a bit. I've finished several books that I want to write about, and I'm working on those posts now, so if you don't see me every day, do check back later for more bookishness!