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Death of a Dutchman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery #2)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  251 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Summoned by an aged woman to investigate mysterious noises in the vacant flat next to hers, Marshal Guarnaccia discovers a dying Dutch jeweler. The old lady had known him when he was a boy growing up in Florence. Could he have returned to the family home just to commit suicide? Or could the man be the victim of a cunning murderer?
Paperback, 220 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Soho Crime (first published 1981)
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Aug 25, 2012 J. rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, italy, nabb, florence
Difficult to know what happened with this. On the plus side, you have the delicately-rendered atmosphere of Florence, memorable characters that aren't 'mystery story characters', an intriguing dilemma, a surreal set-piece (the pursuit thru the old city), a blind eyewitness, and eventually, a good set of closing plot-points and revelations.

And an interesting appearance of the Confratelli Misericordia di Fiorenze, a kind of paramedic catholic brotherhood with a history back to the plague years in
2d Marshal Guarnaccia mystery. Infortunately, I recognized the murder's identity much too quickly.
Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia's superiors are all for calling the death of a Dutch jeweler a suicide. They'd actually like to be able to call it an accident--just to make it easier for the widow. But Guarnaccia, who found the dying man when he was paying a visit to an elderly recluse, doesn't believe it. He can't forget the jeweler's last words, "It wasn't her" and he can't forget the way the room looked and the fact that the elderly woman had heard the jeweler and an unknown woman fighting earli ...more
DEATH OF A DUTCHMAN (Pol Proc-Marshall Salva Guarnaccia-Florence, Italy-Cont) - VG
Nabb, Magdalen – 2nd in series
Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1982, US Hardcover – ISBN: 0684178478

First Sentence: ‘Signora Giusti!’ protested Lorenzini, holding the receiver away from his ear and throwing open his free hand in despair.

An elderly woman is known for calling the carabiniere station to complain. This time Marshall Salva Guarnaccia agrees to go in person. She heard an argument in the next door apartment, then
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The 2nd book in the Marshall Guarnaccia series, set in Florence. [return][return]The plodding beginning is set in a torridly hot period of time in Florence. Among reports of an Instamatic camera stolen in Pisa and various Fiat 500s, the Marshall responds to a call from a 91 year old woman about a potential problem in the flat next door. This turns out to be the death of a "Dutchman"--so-called because his father was Dutch, even though his mother was Italian, and the boy was born and raised in Fl ...more
This is one of the early Nabb-novels about Constable Guarnaccia. The difference between him and Comissario Brunetti by Donna Leon is, that he is actually not the man in charge of solving the crime. He's just a regular head of a small police department, only in charge of his 3 or 4 younger colleagues and mostly concerned with thefts of a Fiat.
In this novel he finds an almost dead Dutchman, who looks as if he comitted suicide. But there is something that doesn't fit into this theory of suicide, Gu
Jan 21, 2010 Monica rated it liked it
This was a well thought out mystery with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until almost the very end, at which point the author, Magdalen Nabb, wrapped everything up very nicely.

After the death of a jeweller in his Florence apartment, Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia feels that things just aren’t right and there is murder in the air...and the chase is on through the streets of this Italian city. “Death of a Dutchman” is a fast-paced read featuring one of my new favourite detectives.

And as
I like the Marshal Guarnaccia series and, being Dutch, was of course attracted by this title.
The Dutchman from the title is actually half Italian and half Dutch. Although born in Italy he has lived in Amsterdam for over ten years. When he returns to his house in Florence one night without informing any of his neighbours he dies of an overdose of sleeping pills.
Although it looks like a suicide initially the Marshal has his doubts, and not without reason as it turns out.
The descriptions of Florenc
Kimberly Ann
Jan 15, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it did not like it
Shelves: carabinieri
Well, it's a really good thing I didn't read this first book before I read others in the series, or else I just might have never read another book in this series at all.

TMI...TMD.....on & on & on....blah, blah, blah, blah..... It was awful, just plain torturous! Not to mention that the character who was a main part of the plot, Signora Gusti, as a self-centered, self-serving, nasty, manipulative, Old Witch!

Once again, this centers around family and family relationships or lack thereof...
This book was a satisfying sequel to the first in the series, but it did not have quite the impact on me as the first. The view into Marshal Guarnaccia's tumultuous and sensitive mind is well-done and his character remains sympathetic, but the plot was a bit frustrating for me. I suppose that serves to underscore Guarnaccia's own frustration with the case and with his lot. Through the characters, Nabb continues to provide a look into life in Italy - the importance of family, place and tradition.
May 03, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1982—probably not worth re-reading. The mystery takes place in Florence and revolves around the apparent suicide of a Dutchman with a ninety-one year old former beauty as the primary witness. Through the tenacity of the Marshal, the mystery is unraveled. Two interesting asides. (1) There are cultures that are more interested in exiting life properly than sustaining it. (2) Due to lack of cemetery space, bodies in Florence are buried for 10 years, but then are dug up, the ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
Death of a Dutchman probably is not a mystery for everyone. It moves, at least until the end, at a langorous pace, like Florence in the summer. It is full of conversation and the Marshal's bewildered searches and sure hunches. He is a beautiful man - in his patience, his sympathy, his acknowledgement of his limitations, and his dogged determination. A fine, sad story told with compassion in its concerns for family relations that it makes it something more than just a mystery.
Jul 26, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Ms. Nabb's writing is far beyond many in this genre. The depth of character development is impressive. Marshal Guarnaccia is one of the best developed, most human crime series sleuths around. The setting is used not used as a hip prop, but works on several levels. Suspenseful, even though it was pretty clear who did before hitting the middle.
Deborah Burrows
I did enjoy this book, which I bought several years ago but didn't get around to reading earlier. The writer's sense of place is marvellous. She takes you to Florence and you feel it, see it, hear it, smell it. But I solved the mystery very early on and the rest of the book dragged (for me) as I waited for the Marshal to work it out. Well worth reading, though.
Mary Warnement
Nabb's first Florentine mystery was set in Dec, not the warm Italy we expect. This second was in the fierce heat of summer, just before the August vacation. I enjoyed this as well, though the murder made me sad. I'll wait a little before getting another.
Dec 26, 2010 Mikee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian-mystery
A murder mystery set in Florence. At first I didn't like this book. Plot too complicated. Not enough character development. I said I wouldn't read more in this series. But at the end it got quite good. So I did. And I will.
Apr 06, 2013 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was much more serious than the first in the series. I didn't see the humor that I did in the first when I called this a early Italian version of MC Beaton. If I had to compare this book, I would have said Agatha Christie. It is an enjoyable, quick read that I whipped through.
FM One of a series of mysteries that take place in Florence, Italy and provide a glimpse into Italian life, along with fairly well told mysteries. This is very much like the Donna Leon Venice mysteries.
Nov 10, 2010 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mystery/crime set in Florence, Italy. This is the best of the four I have read by this author.
Petra Willemse
Oct 10, 2016 Petra Willemse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this mystery quite a bit. The Marshal is an intriguing character and Florence couldn't be a more intriguing setting. Great plot and bit players round it out.
Allison Lowe
Jan 04, 2015 Allison Lowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Fans of Henning Mankell will enjoy the Wallander-esque (though not as depressing) qualities of the Marshal. Many revelations about the unique city of Florence and its traditions.
Nov 17, 2008 Debi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty obvious "who done it" but that is not really the main draw for this book. This writer is so good at fleshing out a character and atmosphere that it is a pleasure just to read.
Katherine Jensen
Aug 09, 2012 Katherine Jensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Series #2. iBook, own.
Tom Jenckes
I felt the book was slow.
Jul 04, 2013 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters, great setting (Florence), great mystery. A fun read!
Love this protagonist. Set in Florence. Wonderful.
Elsie Dokko
Mar 18, 2012 Elsie Dokko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
old fashioned (after WWII, I would think), set in Florence but very good
Jan 28, 2009 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standard Magdalen Nabb mystery based in Florence, Italy, with her Sicilian policeman. This was is a bit ingenious as to whodunnit.
Elizabeth rated it liked it
Apr 08, 2012
JoAnne rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2009
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MAGDALEN NABB was born in Lancashire in 1947 and trained as a potter. In 1975 she abandoned pottery, sold her home and her car, and came to Florence with her son, knowing nobody and speaking no Italian. She has lived there ever since, and pursues a dual career as crime writer and children's author.

She has written fourteen crime novels featuring Marshal Guarnaccia of the carabinieri, all set in Flo
More about Magdalen Nabb...

Other Books in the Series

Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Death of an Englishman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #1)
  • Death in Springtime (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #3)
  • Death in Autumn (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #4)
  • The Marshal and the Murderer (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #5)
  • The Marshal and the Madwoman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #6)
  • The Marshal's Own Case (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #7)
  • The Marshal Makes His Report (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #8)
  • The Marshal at the Villa Torrini (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #9)
  • The Monster of Florence (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery #10)
  • Property of Blood (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery #11)

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