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Death in August by Marco Vichi
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Death in August (2002)

by Marco Vichi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Bordelli (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2061282,403 (3.35)13
  1. 10
    The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri (Tom_D)
    Tom_D: Similar characters and a translator, Stephen Sartarelli, in common.
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» See also 13 mentions

English (11)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
My new favorite. A book about heat, humidity, and mosquitoes in Florence during August; about food and bad drink; about characters: petty thieves-friends of Inspector Bordelli, his cousin the pedant falling in love, the deceased's brother, a the god-awful inventor, cops set in their ways; and most of all the Inspector who believes it's no crime to steal if you're hungry, about memories of war and death and small acts of kindness, about what Italy had become in 1963. About these much more than the murder and solving the crime. As Italian, quirky, and laid back as a mystery could be. Love it. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Set in Florence, a police procedural with interesting characters and intriguing solution to the murder. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Jan 27, 2018 |
Unencumbered by a wife and family, Inspector Bordelli likes to spend the August holiday season at work, even if it does mean incredible heat, and mosquitoes.

This is almost a Golden Age style mystery: there is no blood and gore, just a dead body and a mystery about how she died. As Inspector Bordelli tracks down the beneficiaries of the dead woman's will, he and his young assistant settle on the murderer, but the problem is to prove it. He revisits the scene of the death frequently and makes a surprise discovery, and eventually gathers some concrete evidence.

This is to be the first book in the series and the author takes a lot of care in creating the Inspector's persona: he is 53 years old, fought the Nazis in World War Two, and already sees himself as an old man. He has a lot of friends among criminals and ex-soldiers. There is a lovely scene at a dinner party where a number of them tell stories from the war.

I was impressed by the careful plotting and the eventual resolution of the mystery. ( )
  smik | Dec 5, 2016 |
When I saw that Death in August was translated by Stephen Sartarelli, I could have done a happy dance. Sartarelli is a superb translator, and I love the work he's done with Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries. Then I began to read. I was hooked by page three and the description of Bordelli's meeting with his boss. There is wit and humor in this book, and I loved every bit of it.

Inspector Bordelli is fifty-three, and although he's still looking for Miss Right, he's beginning to wonder if he's too old for her. His investigation is not told in a linear fashion either, but interspersed with his dreams, his childhood memories, and memories of fighting in World War II.

Although the heat could be considered a character in this book, I was rather disappointed that its setting of Florence didn't have a more commanding presence. However, the most charming scene in Death in August is the dinner party Bordelli has for his friends. Not only is it a celebration of wonderful food and drink, but quite an eclectic-- and happy-- gathering of people as well.

The investigation quickly proves that Bordelli doesn't have to figure out WHOdunnit, but HOW they done it, and the way he does so is rather ingenious and certainly entertaining. Piras, the young policeman who helps him solve the crime, brightens things up for Bordelli, especially when the inspector finds out he is the son of his old war buddy.

Although there are some similarities to Camilleri's Montalbano mysteries, I did not find this book to be a pale imitation. In its own way Death in August is every bit as good as its Sicilian counterpart, and I certainly look forward to reading more. ( )
  cathyskye | Aug 27, 2015 |
The first in the Inspector Bordelli series. He reminds me a little of another famous literary detective, Inspector Montalbano in Sicily because of his love for food and his seeing a person's true character regardless of their station in life. His belief in fairness is inspirating, especially when he catches a burglar who'd only just been released from prison in the act, and instead of turning him in, offers him a part time job watering the plants for an ex-prostitute away on vacation.

An elderly woman is found dead in bed, apparently as a result of an asthma attack. But Inspector Bordelli's gut is telling him that there is something amiss and that it's a homicide rather than death by natural causes, and he's proved right when the post mortem is completed. With the assistance of the son of an old army buddy, he picks apart alibis in order to uncover the motive and cause of the woman's untimely death. ( )
  cameling | Dec 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marco Vichiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
For crickets, it's enough to have won on earth.

Anonymous, 21st century
Dedication
To Véronique
First words
Inspector Bordelli entered his office at eight o'clock in the morning after an almost sleepless night, spent tossing and turning between sweat-soaked sheets.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
FLORENCE, SUMMER 1963

Inspector Bordelli is one of the few policemen left in the deserted city. He spends his days on routine work, and his nights tormented by the heat of the mosquitoes.

Suddenly one night, a telephone call gives him a new sense of purpose: the suspected death of a wealthy Signora. Bordelli rushes to her hilltop villa, and picks the locks. The old woman is lying on her bed - apparently killed by an asthma attack, though her medicine has been left untouched.

With the help of his young protégé, the victim's eccentric brother, and a semi-retired petty thief, the inspector begins a murder investigation. Each suspect has a solid alibi, but there is something that doesn't quite add up...
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Florence, summer 1963. Everyone has left town for the holidays, and the city is deserted, hot and full of mosquitoes. Inspector Bordelli is tossing and turning in bed when a telephone call informs him of a mysterious death: a wealthy Signora has been found dead in her villa.… (more)

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