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Another great idea! You are such a creative - and well informed - reader Danielle. I will keep this list as reference and am already thinking about the possibility of travelling through Scandinavia coming winter....


Catharina--I was really thinking I should try and whittle my current read pile down this summer, and not add to it, but I always seem to give in to my whims. I think you'll have loads of books to choose from if you decide to do a little literary traveling through Scandinavia--I'm reading a couple of authors you might like and would be readily available in Europe, too!


What a great idea, reading your way around Italy. I hope you will like Carofiglio. Ammaniti was one of my favourite books of last year and it made it on my all time favourites list. There are a few nice recommendations in your post and I will have to have a closer look at some.


I highly recommend Involuntary Witness and the other Carofiglio books that have been translated (two more in this series and a "standalone"). He was such a discovery for me. I also enjoyed Almost Blue (and the second one), but it is very short so will not eat into your holiday time much!

Liz F

As I am a devoted Italophile I love books with an Italian setting and I have read quite a few of these apart from These Dark Things and that specific Carofiglio.
I can thoroughly recommend the Lucarelli and I really enjoy Christobel Kent's books set in Florence and Magdalen Nabb's too although it has been a while since I last read them.
I haven't read the Ammaniti so I must look out for that.


This sounds like a great idea and thank you for jogging my memory about 'The Dogs of Rome'. Someone recommended that to me ages ago and I meant to put it on my wish list and forgot.


Danielle, did you notice that Masterpiece Mystery will be starting a series with Aurelio Zen, books by Michael Dibdin? That is set in Rome. I haven't read the books, but you can bet I'll be watching this summer. Coming in July, I think.

Have fun travelling Italy!


It's good to take a break from the beach now and then and Italy sounds like a nice alternative! You'll have to be sure to imbibe in some cheese, olives and wine while reading :)


Oooh...I like the sound of your summer reading project. Will have to put some thought into one of my own. You can never have too many projects, you know.


Caroline--I remember when you wrote about the Ammaniti as well, but I forgot to go look for the link. Did you see the movie that was made from the book? I'll be finishing the Camilleri novel I'm reading tonight and will start on the Carofiglio next. This was very much spur of the moment, but I'm getting very excited about reading these books.
Maxine--I'm looking forward to reading Carofiglio. I totally missed him before when I've browsed the Bitter Lemon website, but his book seems to have received lots of good reviews. I was surprised that a number of these books seem fairly short--well under 300 pages--even the Camilleri novels seem like quickies. All the better perhaps as then maybe I can fit in more books?
Liz--I think These Dark Things is a fairly new book--maybe has only just be released here in the US and am not sure if it has come out yet in the UK or not as I think the author is American. I love Italian settings, too, but I've not really read much in the way of crime novels with the exception of Donna Leon. I think Ammaniti has written a few more novels that have been translated into English as well--I've heard good things about him. Have never read Christobel Kent, but like the sound of her Florence books. You'll have to let me know if I'm missing anyone else who's really good.
Annie--The next best thing to actually going there? Well, almost anyway. I'd heard good things about The Dogs of Rome as well and had it checked out from the library but (surprise, surprise) didn't get to it, and then it was in paper so I splurged and bought it to read at my leisure! He has a new book out now, too!
Kay--I went and looked after I saw your comment--I'm excited! I thought we wouldn't get the Zen shows here until next year! Must say Rufus Sewell is pretty easy on the eyes, and have been looking forward to these since I first heard they were being filmed. I haven't read the Zen books, but I have read a couple of his stand alones. Now I've pulled out the first book. I notice that they are showing the books/stories out of order. Hopefully I'll have time to read one or two before they start in July--something to look forward to!
Stefanie--Lots of beaches in Italy, too, so I won't be going into withdrawal, but a change of pace does sound nice--and Italy is a dream destination. I do like your idea of partaking of the culture while reading--maybe a field trip to an Italian restaurant, too? :)
Kathy--You're right--you really can't have too many projects (which is good since I seem to want to read everything all at once). I sort of like having something to work on over the summer that's fun--and Italy seemed perfect!


Italian and French crime novels are hardly ever very long whereas US and German crime novels can be very chunky. I observed this also in literary fiction and other genres. There is a culture specific difference in the story telling that is reflected in the length of the books. Interesting, don't you think?

kathy d.

Terrific list. I have read all of Donna Leons except the recent one, and enjoy them much. I've been thinking or rereading some, but think of all of the unread books out there -- unread by me.
I do like Carofiglio's character, the attorney, and the plots.
And, of course, I like Camilleri's Montalbano.
However, you've listen more authors to try.
On to a wonderful, reading summer.
And what could be a better way to go to Italy in the summer -- no airport lines, no passport hassles, no long plane rides, no huge outlays of money, etc.


I can't think of any good ones I've read that you've missed but you've hit on some great ones here!

It's so funny that I didn't really like Montalbano the first time I tried reading the book but on my second attempt at The Shape of Water I really liked it. So I hope you'll enjoy it. I need to revisit with that inspector again.

I also recommend the Brophy book. I've read two of her Cenni series, not sure if there's another one out already, but really like the first one.

Oh man, where's my plane ticket to Italy! :)


Caroline--It is interesting actually. Now that I think of it--Elena Ferrante's books are also quite slim and a few others that I have on my pile, too. It's actually a nice change of pace to be honest!
Kathy D.--I read a number of Donna Leon's books at once and then I took a break that turned into an extended break, but I love Guido Brunetti, so I'll be happy to pick up another book soon. I've just started the Carofiglio and am enjoying it a lot, too. I'm actually very pleased I decided to do this and think it'll be fun reading a variety of books set in Italy. Definitely the next best thing to going there.
Iliana--I thought you had read Andrea Camilleri--I liked Inspector M.--he's really sort of sensitive. He reminds me just a little of Maigret. I liked the book so much I ordered the next few to have on hand. I'm glad to hear you liked the Brophy book--I'd not heard anything about it, but it sounded good. Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful to go to Italy right now?

Liz F

Make the most of the series of Zen when it is on in the summer as it is not being continued.
I think that that's a real shame as I thought Rufus Sewell was very good as Aurelio Zen, who is quite a complicated character, as well as being extremely easy on the eye!
The series did get some criticism though because it set all the stories in Rome whereas in the books they take place in different parts of Italy but I am guessing that that was largely due to cost.


Liz--Only three episodes? Is that all they made? That's all we're getting over here anyway. What a shame. I love Rufus Sewell and by the looks of the preview he seems to fit the part well. And yes, there is the fact that he's gorgeous. Sigh. I hadn't heard anything about it--how it was received when it was aired, so interesting to hear about it. It can't have been cheap to make those episodes. I'm surprised that Donna Leon's books have not been made into a TV show--imagine a nice Venice setting. :)

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