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A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen, #6)
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A Long Finish (Aurelio Zen #6)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  826 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
After his adventures in Cosi Fan Tutti, Aurelio Zen finds himself back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment - to release the jailed scion of an important wine-growing family.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2004 by Faber and Faber (first published August 25th 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 29, 2015 HBalikov rated it really liked it
Dibdin's senior detective, Aurelio Zen, is a modern guy who often has to deal with traditional Italian: politics, bureaucracy, relationships, customs, etc.

This isn't the first of Dibdin's Zen novels, but it is the first that I have read. (He has written almost a dozen.) Zen is a quirky member of the Italian State Police. He ruffles a lot of feathers with his crime-solving techniques and he is often placed in situations that no one else would want. I have seen all three Zen made-for-TV movies and
Feb 03, 2009 Kay added it
As ever, and with sadness, Dibden satisfies on so many levels that I hardly know how to express the sharp and bittersweet pleasures of being with Aurelio Zen as he fails in one relationship after another, misjudges a serial murder case, and fights to avoid ending up in Mafia territory because he's the essential coward we all know hides inside us.

The sadness comes from knowing that Dibden will never give us another Zen novel, and that Aurelio's failures and escapes, brilliant stratagems and hast
Sep 03, 2012 Ken rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This is the only one of Dibdin's books I've read. Definitely has its points. The characterization is very uneven, but can be very good (Dr. Lucchese) and even brilliant (Minot). The style is good and mostly engaging, thought sometimes he strains a bit too hard for intellectual stature even at the stylistic level. The portrayal of Italy is fascinating.

But these are on the surface--which is enough for the critics. Underneath, it adds up to a good deal less than a run-of-the-mill pulp mystery. The
May 22, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing
Dibdin wrote a series concerning a gruff, shrewd, and slightly out of it detective named Aurelio Zen. These are set in Italy, and clearly the author has a great fascination with all things and people Italian. He enjoys the Italian machismo, the food, the wine, the long histories and conflicts behind the daily interactions. This author was clearly an educated man (I think he went to Oxford) who did his research, and he is in the more literary wing of the mystery genre. That is my cup of tea too, ...more
Dec 26, 2012 Scott rated it liked it
Michael Dibdin has written several Aurelio Zen mysteries, and this one is yet another encounter with strange situations and even stranger characters. An Italian police detective, Zen is generally at odds with his superiors and suffering some kind of punishment for it, but he always gets the job done.

In this offering, there's an especially nasty murder of a renowned vintner in the Piedmont area of Italy, and Zen accepts a private contract to solve it. The reasons behind that are bizarre enough, b
Carol Smart
Feb 10, 2017 Carol Smart rated it liked it
Enjoyed the setting but not the detective as much. A rather convoluted investigation with tangential issues re Zen's psyche, and the appearance of a potential daughter. I have not read previous books so the lack of history may have affected my enjoyment. Loved the remedy he used to treat his cold but not sure I would try it.
Sep 30, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book perhaps the best yet of the Zen series. Zen is far from perfect but he does have some redeeming qualities so amid the corruption that riddles Italian society Zen struggles through with his own moral compass. What I like are the gentle unveiling of his character set in various locations across Italy. He uses a range of skills and deceptions to get his man, he takes us on this journey since our growing knowledge about him is mirrored in his own self discovery. He commands respect th ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Louise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Why do I keep reading these books that I DON'T like? Ugggh!

From cover:

"In Italian Criminalpol officer Aurelio Zen, Michael Dibdin has given the mystery one of its most intriguing protagonists: a man wearily trying to enforce the law in a society where the law is constantly being bent. Case in point: When the son of a Piedmontese wine-making family is jailed for killing his father, Zen is ordered to secure his release. The reason: A certain well-connected connoisseur wants to make sure that this
Mar 18, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Michael Dibdin, so far. It involves truffles and wine and inbred Italian families.
All of his mysteries begin "in medias res," describing a scene (or scenes) whose relevance is sometimes far from obvious. I often have to go back and skim the beginning, once I have gotten interested in the characters and begun to figure out what's going on. This can be irritating, but in this case, it wasn't too laborious, and I began to figure things out much faster. Either he did a better job here, o
Jul 05, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the disturbing personal shocks in Naples, Zen is sent from Rome to Piedmont to find evidence that will acquit the son of a local vintner convicted of murdering his father. A famous film director is concerned about the fate of the wine from the victim's vineyard in what is presumed to be an outstanding year.

The plot is complicated; the hostilities leading to the murder date back to the War - Partisans versus Fascists. There is a lot of fascinating local color dealing with the local truffle
Feb 13, 2011 Dianne rated it it was ok
Shelves: detective, italy
I did not like this book. Reading through this series I find that Dibdin moves from influence to influence as he plays with different styles. In this novel the hero reminds me of Inspector 'Cluseau' (I am not sure of the spelling) of the Pink Panther films. I have spotted Agatha Christie and John Buchan in two previous books as well as the noirish Dead Lagoon and the comic opera Cosi Fan Tutti. I would have given it one star but there are aspects of the story which are interesting, and if Zen ...more
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Janet Martin
Aug 04, 2013 Janet Martin rated it it was amazing
Few people can execute a mystery as does Dibdin! Aurelio Zen is a flawed genius--funny, conniving, yet still likeable, in part due to his innate sense of honor. I also enjoy the way this series has moved around Italy, and this book, set in truffle country in the far north, reminds me of life in any smaller community that has enjoyed a relatively stable population for generations. A convoluted plot with twists and turns that still remain believable. As always, the title has multiple meanings. One ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Leo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I just read this book again on a flight to Mexico. I liked it the second time I read it and finding more wrinkles in the plot. Aurelio Zen is quite the detective, but this story does not necessarily focus on him. It's also structured in a way that you know whodunit early in the book. I do enjoy the way Dibdin seems to really get the mood and character of a town or region in Italy. Really a quality mystery.
Dave Johnson
Nov 10, 2010 Dave Johnson rated it really liked it
Re-read this some years after a friend recommended it. Now much more familiar with Zen (and re-reading the whole series in sequence) Especially enjoyed it as its location reminded me of another area of Northern Italy I now know quite well. I love the way Dibdin uses the stories to get under the skin of the different regions of Italy while also showing the similarities - Italian bureaucracy and corruption. One of my favourites in an excellent series
Sep 13, 2013 M.R. rated it it was amazing
Ah, but I love seeing Aurelio Zen back in Rome, where he should be. And dining well, something that is a bit more iffy in Naples, where he'd lately been dispatched as punishment for being effective in an impolitic way. He's still his charming self and wearing his beautifully fitted suits while setting situations on their ears, this time mixing with the Italian film industry as well as a mystery. A good romp. Perfetto!
Kay Robart
Jun 12, 2013 Kay Robart rated it it was ok
Aurelio Zen seems dreamy and unfocused in this mystery about who killed a noted winemaker. The truth may lie in the events of World War II. I felt a bit as if Dibdin was trifling with me while I read this novel, but I couldn't put my finger on why.

See my complete review here:
Todd Moore
Nov 06, 2011 Todd Moore rated it really liked it
Okay, this is my newest favorite mystery writer and I can't wait to find more. Thoroughly likable main character. This one, which takes place in an Italian vineyard is hysterical. And SO Italian. One of the main suspects is released because this is a very promising year for the vineyard where he works. And he's the only one who run it.
Jun 11, 2011 Mitch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, kindle, italy
Another solid Zen mystery - although quite a change of pace after Cosi Fan Tutti - I have to say my main impression from this book was one of reading 40 or 50 pages and then feeling the need for a bowl of pasta or a glass of wine
Feb 17, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok
Aurelio Zen starts out with a great deal of mental angst and a bad cold. I think the author was perhaps in a similar fugue. Sections were nicely written. It certainly establishes a nice sense of place. Learning a bit about truffle hunting and wine in context was nice, but this story line was all a bit too choppy and messy.
Feb 15, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Comparisons to Inspector Clouseau (sp?) are apt. I sort of did and sort of didn't like this Audio book. Michael Kitchen's phrasing was off-putting at times. The story was enjoyable during the wine sequences, but gives a very depressing impression of Italy and is not very flattering when it comes to its protagonist either.
Jun 10, 2010 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this because our Aloha Wine Club decided to taste wines from the Piedmont region of Italy. A lot of references to previous story lines involving Aurelio Zen, the main character, so it was a bit hard for me to follow, but there's some interesting tidbits about the wine regions, truffle hunting, and dogs.
Howie Dodds
Jul 27, 2012 Howie Dodds rated it really liked it
Having watched on tv and enjoyed I picked up the book and this was my introduction to Zen in books. This book is particularly good and the author captures the atmosphere really well, plus you find out a few things about wine-making you were not aware of. I'm going to read the whole series as I've read a second one too and enjoyed it just as much. But this is a good intro to Zen in book form.
Aug 17, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
Zen as ever is fascinating and unconventional. Italy (wine and truffles, and memories of the resistance, in this novel) without sentimentality. A particularly gruesome ending which I didn't care for much, even if there was an element of justice being done about it, and some rather strange decisions on the part of Zen.
Jan 04, 2014 Margareth8537 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Stayed up late to finish this one. At times I don't get on terribly well with Michael Kitchen, but then he gets it just right. Zen in Piedmont is a real treat - wish I could try the wine and the white truffles.
Sep 21, 2012 Camillesharee rated it really liked it
I'm not a murder mystery person but this was really good. Would definitely read another Aurelio Zen book though I think the setting is what really made enjoy the book, or maybe the characters, no the humor ;)
Oct 01, 2012 Brick rated it really liked it
Sense of place is terrific, this series is a wonderful travelogue, an in depth introduction to places and cultures within Italy, I am sure that these mysteries reveal elements of the places and local cultuures that would be impossible for the casual tourist to discern.
Sep 23, 2010 Joe rated it liked it
Zen returns back to Rome & is immedietley sent North to near Turin to investigate the Murder of a local Vineyard owner. Not one of authors best but enough of a plot, dialoge & humour to keep fans happy.
Lansing Public Library
The Mystery group didn't care for this book.
Sometimes the story didn't make sense and
they had questions about things that they felt the author left hanging!
They were, however, surprised by the ending.
Aug 30, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
Love Dibdin's books ever since I read "The Lasts Sherlock Holmes" novel. Saw first three Zen books on a TV series and was hooked. This one doesn't fail. The Author keeps you on edge from start to finish. Getting reading to listen to "Blood Rain".
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Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratki ...more
More about Michael Dibdin...

Other Books in the Series

Aurelio Zen (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Ratking (Aurelio Zen, #1)
  • Vendetta (Aurelio Zen, #2)
  • Cabal (Aurelio Zen, #3)
  • Dead Lagoon (Aurelio Zen, #4)
  • Così Fan Tutti (Aurelio Zen, #5)
  • Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen, #7)
  • And Then You Die (Aurelio Zen, #8)
  • Medusa (Aurelio Zen, #9)
  • Back to Bologna (Aurelio Zen, #10)
  • End Games (Aurelio Zen, #11)

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