A Murder in Tuscany by Christobel Kent

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Sandro Cellini, P. I., Florence’s answer to Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti, returns in this atmospheric mystery set in a forbidding castle. As Sandro Cellini comes to grips with the tough realities of life as a private detective, touting for business among old contacts and following errant teenagers, an old case comes back to haunt him.

Once the subject of a routine background check back in Sandro’s earliest days as a private investigator, the glamorous, charming, and ruthless Loni Meadows, the director of an American-Italian artistic retreat in a castle in the hills outside Florence, goes off the icy road in her car one night. The circumstances of her death seem less than accidental to Sandro. However inconvenient his suspicions might be, both to Sandro—whose marriage appears to be disintegrating in the aftermath of his wife’s illness—and to Meadows’s erstwhile employers, the detective presses on. As he attempts to uncover the truth of Meadows’s violent and lonely death, Sandro finds himself drawn into the lives of the castle’s highly strung community and the closed world they inhabit in the isolated Etruscan hills of the Maremma.

Reminiscent of a locked-room mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, A Murder in Tuscany leads the reader from one possible perpetrator to the next; to Sandro’s chagrin, all of the artists in residence at the time of Loni’s demise had more than enough reason to dislike her. But who in the group had the most compelling motive to want her dead?       

Kent is a masterful investigator of character and mood, and her second mystery conveys the gloom of the Orfeo castle as well as the individual dark lives of its inhabitants in a chilling, memorable way.


About Christobel Kent

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Christobel Kent was born in London and grew up in London and Essex, including a stint on the Essex coast on a Thames barge with three siblings and four step-siblings, before reading English at Cambridge. She has worked in publishing and TEFL teaching, and has lived in Modena, in northern Italy, and in Florence. She has written four novels set in Italy and now lives in Cambridge with her husband and five children.
Published August 2, 2011 by Minotaur Books. 337 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

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Though its director, Loni Meadows, has the face of a Madonna, she runs the castle with an iron hand, earning the enmity of virtually all the staff—senior assistants Luca and Mauro, veteran cook Ginevra and her niece Nicki, maid Anna-Maria and even Cate Giottone (from whose perspective readers see...

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of A Murder in Tuscany

City Book Review

But even if evidence can be found to show someone had a motive to kill her, how can such an obvious accident be murder?

Apr 26 2012 | Read Full Review of A Murder in Tuscany

Mysterious Reviews

Review: A commentary on a recent change of life job starts this second mystery to feature Florence private investigator Sandro Cellini, with a wondering of how this had happened.

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