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A Death In Tuscany (Michele Ferrara #2)

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
In the picturesque Tuscan hill town of Scandicci, the body of a girl is discovered, lying by the edge of the woods. The local police investigate the case-but after a week, they still haven’t even identified her, let alone got to the bottom of how she died.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, head of Florence’s elite Squadra Mobile, deci
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published 2005)
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C.S. Boag
Feb 12, 2015 C.S. Boag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was young, my mother used to take me to Austinmeer beach and I'd find Phantom comics in a cupboard at the boarding house. I don't know why they were there but I loved them.
I loved too "A Death in Tuscany", a copy of which I found in this house in a French village we were renting. What a find ! I had never heard of Giuttari. He is a former boss of the Florence police who has turned his hand to novel writing.
The writing is clunky- whether the fault of the writer or the translator, I don't
Jun 20, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the series. The author is writing a novel based on his experiences as the chief of the Florence 'Flying Squad'. The character even has the same first name as he does. When he's telling the story it's a good read. There are little bits here and there that seem too much about him though and they irritated me a little. As the story gets going these tail off.

The story begins with the death of a young unidentified girl. Never a nice place to begin. It has plenty of twists a
A better level of realism comes through with the character of Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara compared to Leon's Commissario Brunetti and Dibdin's detective Aurelio Zen. The references to Freemasonry and the Albanian Eastern Mafioso were cleverly intertwined throughout the plot to keep you intrigued as Operation Stella unfolded. With the Italian towns of Carrara, Massa and Montecatini in the background, mixed in with character names such as Ciuffi, Serpico, Rizzo, Chief Superintendent Mazzo ...more
Dana Delamar
Dec 03, 2014 Dana Delamar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book were excellent, others were just okay. Guittari works some interesting ideas into the plot, and gives us another solid read; however, I think some of his other books are stronger than this one. I'd recommend "The Death of a Mafia Don" over this one, but I'd recommend reading this one first since some of the plot elements in this book tie into that one. (But it's not necessary to read them in order, or even to read this one at all to enjoy the other one.)
Mar 30, 2016 Carolien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian-crime, eur, 2016
I appreciate this series for the authenticity of both the setting and events. It is an intricate plot that requires one to apply your mind to the characters and chronological order of events. This is another book where local and international crime intersects and I find the difference in tone from contemporary English/American crime fiction refreshing.
I didn't really read this- I clicked on the wrong one and I don't know how to delete it.
Nov 06, 2016 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was disappointing after the terrific first book in the series. The first 3/4 of the book dragged tediously--he really should have tightened it. The last quarter was a whirlwind of activity in which all the investigations were tied together, so much so that I found myself confused by it all. But I like the series and will continue with it.
Mike Jones
This was a good story, interesting and certainly a page turner. Somehow though it was a little disappointing...I'd have liked to have cared about some of the characters. That's why I only gave it three stars.
Jan 20, 2011 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A DEATH IN TUSCANY is the second book from former Florence police chief Michele Guittari, billed as a bestseller in Italy and translated into nine languages. I was particularly interested to read this as the first book A FLORENTINE DEATH had a number of elements which didn't work at all for me, and I wanted to see if this was first book syndrome or more to do with this particular author's style of storytelling.

A DEATH IN TUSCANY starts out with the discovery of the body of a girl near a small Tu
Whilst the title for this book is not very imaginative, it is the reason I was drawn to pick this up for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011. This is not a genre I read a great deal of and the author is not familiar to me so I do not feel I can compare him with others that write books set in Italy in this genre of which there are quite a few.

Michele Giuattari is a former Florence Police Chief so he does have an insiders advantage on the understanding of how the police and legal system wo
Aug 02, 2012 Sidna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I loved this book! The author, Michele Giuttari, is the Italian Michael Connelly. He is the former head of the police force in Florence Italy.

His main character, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, the head of Florence's elite Squadra Mobile, is refreshing because he is happily married. We are spared reading about every woman he encounters while doing his job throwing herself at him. His wife is supportive, but it is not a Nick and Nora Charles type plot. She keeps the home fires burning
Jul 31, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zipped through this, surprised at some of the negative reviews. Police procedural written by a real policeman (who handily appends a note about the one bit of the procedure that wouldn't have been allowed in real life). There are one or two loose ends (I would like to know what happens to the very senior person who has been found out in the course of the investigation). The author and Michele Ferrara share both job (actual position) and first name, but he insists that this is not autobiographica ...more
Anders Hanson
There are a lot of crime writers setting their books in Italy these days, but what is unusual about Michele Giuttari is that he writes from the perspective of having been a former police chief in Florence, and it shows.

I came to this book not having heard of Giuttari before but I now regret having left it so long to discover his writing. He writes with a detail and accuracy that shows he has worked as a police officer, but without including so much detail that you get bored. The plot, which he s
Aug 24, 2015 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is a former Police Superintendent, so his account of police procedures and corruption rings true. His alter ego, the main character, is well rounded, as is that of his German wife, Petra. Some of the most important characters are dead or missing. We come to know them only gradually. The theme of the trafficking of drugs and sex, so common in our time, forms the center of the intrigue. Murder and incest enter in. There is a toughness and detachment that only rarely lets in emotion. Mic ...more
Rob Kitchin
A Death in Tuscany is a competent police procedural set in Florence and its surrounds. It’s author used to be head of the Florence police and he knows his procedural details, giving a good insight into how the Italian system works with its divisions between state police, carabinieri and prosecutor’s office. Ferrara is a political astute cop, dedicated to the job, with a healthy disregard for his superiors and liked by his colleagues, and a happy home life. The story is well paced and the charact ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giuttari's second Italian police procedural outranks the first, as his tight plotting and enjoyable lead, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, take center stage again. While there's still an element of intrigue - this time, Freemasonry - it appears less of an interruption to the plot and more an addition. Once more Giuttari's real-life experience as the head of Florence's Squadra Mobile helps him create a believable and thrilling plot as Ferrarra solves the murder of a young girl - who everyone ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey - a new detective series for me! So different from the whole (and loveable) series of Brit, LA and NYC disaffected lot that I glome through. Michele Ferrare is an 'alter ego' to so that's an interesting conversation in the background.

These are written in Italian and translated, as are the Camillieri/Montalbano books but Camillieri has a lovely translator who really does get the tempo of southern Italy - at least it seems that way to me. In this first novel I've read (getting right onto the o
Aug 20, 2012 Kerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Giuttari used to be the head of the police force in Florence so he is obviously well qualified to write these kinds of stories. Unfortunately it wasn’t really my kind of crime novel, I prefer a proper whodunit like Agatha Christie or PD James, this is more drug, child porn, Mafiosi type (which ironically his author photo makes him look like). I did try to read this or another of his before and failed to get much further than the first couple of chapters, I kept going with this one but would not ...more
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian-authors
Chief Superintendent Ferrara has his hands full this month: an underage girl’s body dumped by the road; an Albanian drug ring operating right in his home town of Florence, and a possible pedophile ring. Now he learns his lifelong best friend is suddenly accused of murdering his latest flame’s ex- and the friend is missing. Is he on the run? Dead? Kidnapped? Could all these events be connected? After all, Chief Ferrara is always saying “In our business, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.” A ...more
Oct 23, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This was an interesting, complex Sicilian detective novel, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

The plot was too labyrinthine, and the story too procedural for my taste. And, I cringe to admit this, but there were too many characters that I couldn't keep straight (good cops vs. nasty, political cops).

I admired the protagonist and found his personal relationships very interesting, but in general I prefer a book with fewer work-a-day details. I spent too many years over-working myself to want to re-li
Jul 31, 2008 Cecilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, Italian-philes
Shelves: favorites
A solid mystery from an Italian author...set in Florence and some of the Tuscan countryside. Not readly available here, if you get lucky enough to get your hands on this one or the author's other book...A Florentine Death...snatch them up. The main character of A Death in Tuscany is Ferrara, a tough, hard-working Tuscan who will not stop until he solves his crimes. In this story, we have two crimes, which, over time, we find out are inter-linked. The ending drags some but for the most part, it i ...more
Jodi Maples, MSW, LSW
I grabbed this off of the library shelf at Cap Juluca (don't tell them...I was a Sheriva guest)...grabbed it because it had Tuscany in the title. Ended up being a very good murder mystery...if you're into that...loved that in the Italian murder mysteries, they describe the food & wine they're enjoying as much as the gory details of the murders. It would be a solid 3 1/2 stars, if that were an option, but I feel like it isn't quite in my 4 star category. I would absolutely say grab this for a ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Bert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating glimpse into the workings of an honest Italian chief inspector in the Italian police hierarchy. A young girl dies, and at first it is seen as an accidental overdose by a prostitute. Our hero sees the tragedy of a child's death, and he refuses to assume that matters are that simple. Eventually we have a homicide investigation, then a much larger story of drug trafficking, white slavery, corruption. A good story in a picturesque setting, set in August of 2001, just before li ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Suzanne's large pile. Great page turner with lots of plot twists. Scarily (and sometimes depressingly) realistic - the last crime novel I read was glamourous crimes de passion and red herrings I think - but I guess drugs and sex is more 21st century!

The dialogue sometimes felt very unnatural, but like we've discussed several times, it's hard to tell if that's a translation problem or in the original. Would probably read another one of his if I was in the mood for crime (so to speak!) but
Bill Thorsteinson
Even while investigating death the Italians consider the social niceties. Can Michele prove Massimo is not a murderer? Is Massimo even alive? Who killed the young girl? Could these events be related? Guttari keeps the suspense going through to the end. Rarely does a book ensnare me like A Death in Tuscany. It blends police procedure, politics and Italian etiquette with a couple of seemingly unrelated murders and throws in a drug squad investigation for good measure. This is a strong second volum ...more
Michael Reeve
Feb 18, 2013 Michael Reeve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story. Incredible description that threw me off my guard. I love a book that can make me feel just as uncomfortable as it would make the character if they were real.

Not my favourite, but I would read it again. The realism that comes with Mr. Giuttari's experience in Italian Police and Crime is second to none.

I am growing more fond of Mr. Giuttari's writing and cannot wait to read more.
Mar 05, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Great detective story set in & around Florence. Second in the series by a widely acclaimed author. Giuttari cannot be faulted for the police procedural side of his novels but they are so much more. This one speaks of secrecy (Freemasonary) loyalty and above all else friendship. What are you prepared to sacrifice for a friend? This is captured in this story; that reflects well on some characters where others would betray colleagues to keep dirty secrets.
Neha Sharma
Apr 27, 2015 Neha Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the body of a girl is found and toxins were discovered in her body,many assume that she died of a drugs overdose.But Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara believes that the girl was murdered. this investigation lead him to a much deeper sinister conspiracy.
A Death in Tuscany is a well plotted atmospheric mystery,and thanks to the author Michele Giuttari's job as a former head of the Florence police force,the story has a feel of method and procedures of a police investigation.
Germano Dalcielo
Leggendo in quarta di copertina che era ambientato alle cave di marmo di Carrara (a un tiro di schioppo da qui), mi ero convinto ad acquistarlo ma sono rimasto piuttosto deluso. La narrazione non decolla mai, la noia la fa da padrona per buona parte del romanzo che si trascina stancamente fino alla fine. Un netto calo rispetto al primo della serie, Scarabeo, che invece mi era piaciuto e mi aveva favorevolmente colpito. Peccato.
Alex Gautier
Feb 02, 2016 Alex Gautier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ihh, al fin he podido terminarlo. Quiero agradecer a la academia... Pero en serio, gracias a la universidad por tener libros tan buenos disponibles para nosotros.
¡Cómo me encantan estas historias! Muy bien contada y no demasiado reveladora. ¿Les gustan las novelas policíacas? ¿Qué están esperando? ¡Lean a Michele!
No tengo mucho para decir en realidad, excepto que espero poder leer más de las "aventuras" de Ferrara.
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Michele Giuttari a crime fiction writer and former head of the police force in Florence,Italy.
More about Michele Giuttari...

Other Books in the Series

Michele Ferrara (6 books)
  • A Florentine Death
  • The Death of a Mafia Don
  • A Death In Calabria
  • The Black Rose Of Florence
  • The Dark Heart of Florence

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