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Gianna Baltaro, sometimes called by Italians the "Agatha Christie of the Piedmont," worked for many years as a journalist and crime reporter, before turning to writing historical/crime novels featuring private detective Andrea Martini. He's a charming and unconventional former police commissioner in the 1930s who lends a helping hand to his old colleagues in the Turin police department. He's also a gentleman farmer cultivating a vineyard inherited from an uncle. The series of 18 books she produced is highly popular not only for their mysteries but also for their carefully researched local history and descriptions of Turin and its surroundings in a bygone era.

Gianna Baltaro è stata spesso definita l’Agatha Christie piemontese oppure la Signora in Giallo sotto la Mole. La scrittrice torinese ha inventato il personaggio di Andrea Martini, protagonista di ben 18 avventure: un ex commissario della Squadra Mobile, che, in particolari inchieste, torna volentieri a dare una mano ai suoi vecchi colleghi nella Torino degli anni Trenta. “Uomo affascinante di molta umanità e non poco anticonformismo, - l’ha descritto Giovanni Tesio, - che si divide tra Torino e Diano d’Alba, dove ama vestire i panni del gentiluomo di campagna coltivando il vino di un podere avuto in eredità da uno zio”. Martini è uno dei protagonisti più interessanti del giallo italiano, anche se in realtà la vera protagonista delle storie di Gianna Baltaro è la Torino anni Trenta, avvolta dal suo fascino discreto e misterioso. Una città in grande fermento, che, nelle indagini del commissario, vive di momenti curiosi, momenti storici di un passato descritto con grande coinvolgimento.
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