Here we have it, MURDER ON THE VINE is Camilla Trinchieri’s third in the wonderful Tuscan Mystery series. The first two books in the series: MURDER IN CHIANTI and THE BITTER TASTE OF MURDER are top notch. They’re both filled with everything I look for in a mystery set in Italy. You can practically taste the Italian food, smell the earthy countryside, and you can feel the tension mount as the murders are discovered and then finally solved. I am so happy to announce that this third novel is the BEST yet!
I was promptly dropped into the small towns of Greve, Panzano, and Gravigna ( pronounced Graveena ). I settled in quickly with my old friends, Nico Doyle, the retired NYPD detective who moved to Gravigna to be closer to his wife’s family after she passed away, Maresciallo Salvatore Perillo and his side-kick, Brigadiere Daniele Donato. It’s not long before they are summoned to find a lost person. Laura Benati who manages Hotel Bella Vista shows up at the carabineri station begging for help. Her eighty-year- old bartender, Cesare Rinaldi has been missing for three days and she is beside herself with worry. A missing persons report is filed and the men are up and running.
When a dead body shows up in the trunk of Jimmy Lando’s beat up old car Jimmy, of course, becomes the strongest suspect. And we find out the body belongs to the missing man, Cesare Rinaldi. And who is Jimmy? He and his husband, Sandro Ventini are co-owners of Bar All’Angolo , the breakfast spot where Nico enjoys his morning cornetti’s ( Italian croissants ) and Cafe Americano.
A lot of finger-pointing goes on as more and more pieces of this puzzle unravel. Who did it? Was it Cesare’s brother? Laura? Jimmy? Along the way we are given shreds of the past and the how and why so many people could have been guilty.
When I say Trinchieri has nailed these small villages and towns in Tuscany, it is an understatement. As many of you who read my blog often know, I have traveled to this delightful and magical region of Tuscany. It is depicted beautifully in this book. The towns are characters, themselves. The people pop off the pages and make you feel as if you truly know them. And you will know them once you have a couple books in this series under your reading belts.
One Wag is the dog Nico found in the first of the series. He has become a huge part of the stories. Named One Wag because he wags his tail once. He is a show-stealer and I can’t possibly imagine the series without him.
I love Bar All’Angelo. I was sitting here this morning thinking how much I would love to be there enjoying my cornetti and coffee. Hanging out, visiting with friends and perhaps reading the La Nazione, the local Florentine daily newspaper the cafe provides.
Trinchierri ads a note in the beginning of this book. She has added a list of characters in the back of the book. I admit to using it often. There are a lot of characters. Each character brings so much to the table.
The kindness of the Tuscan people, the exquisite writing of Camilla Trinchierri, the profound sense of place, and even the art and streets of Florence, all work together to make this novel delicious and delightful. Honestly, I can hardly wait for the next in the series and I hope to reread this one again soon.
My beautiful finished hardcover of MURDER ON THE VINE was provided by the generous publishing people at Soho Crime in exchange for an honest review. If I could give it ten stars I would. It’s absolutely luscious.