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Death in August (Il commissario Bordelli #1)

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  832 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
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 and 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
...more
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Louise
Oct 15, 2011 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Like many detective series (Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, etc), the characters in this story are what make it memorable. The mystery is not particularly shocking, nor is the method the Inspector uses to arrive at the solution. However, I enjoyed reading about the characters Inspector Bordelli meets along the way, although Inspector Bordelli himself is a bit banal.

There were a few things that rankled with me: I found the sex scene unnecessary and borderline inappropriate. Also, there's a momen
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Italo Italophiles
Death in August is a book with an identity crisis: it is a psychological novel dressed up as a police procedural but marketed as a cozy mystery novel. The original Italian books, less bound by genre, have dark covers reflecting the dark themes in the series. The English translations offered as Kindle editions sport cozy mystery watercolor covers with a nostalgic tint that completely misrepresent the books' contents.

The series is set in the past, in the 1960s to be precise, and it is set there f
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Caroline
Jul 24, 2012 Caroline rated it it was ok
I found the first bit of this book banal - so much so I debated giving up on it, but I'm so glad I didn't....because after that it picked up, and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Inspector Bordelli is not the svelte and dashing Lothario one might expect of an Italian detective. Rather he smokes a lot, he sweats a lot, and he drives an old Volkswagon which backfires a lot. This is Florence in 1963. It's August, and it is hot. He is 53 years old. At night he can't sleep and he gets bitten by mosquitoes.
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Natàlia
Nov 19, 2016 Natàlia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2,5 en realidad. Un libro en que el comisario, su anécdotas del pasado y el estrambótico elenco de personajes que le acompañan, es más protagonista que la propia trama policial. Tiene su lógica si sabemos que es la primera parte de esta serie.
Reseña completa aquí: http://perdida-entrelibross.blogspot....
Inés
Oct 04, 2016 Inés rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Un protagonista interesante rodeado de personajes raros,muy raros.Es como si el crimen que se investiga fuera una mera excusa para presentarnos al comisario de policía protagonista y repasar fragmentos de su vida.
Tony
Jul 24, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DEATH IN AUGUST. (2012). Marco Vichi. ****.
This is the first novel I’ve read by this Italian author, and, as far as I can tell, the first to be translated into English although he has written at least eleven other books. Vichi was born in Florence, and this detective novel is set there. Our hero is Inspector Bordelli, a fiftyish single man who is his own man with his own opinions. He is constantly being rebuked by his superiors for being too easy on criminals. In fact, some of his best friends
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Irunesa
Oct 03, 2016 Irunesa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A pesar de contar con un protagonista carismático, a la trama policíaca le falta fuerza y tiene demasiadas interferencias de alusiones nostálgicas a la guerra y de presentación de un elenco de personajes cada cual más estrambótico...
Nancy Oakes
The first installment in Marco Vichi's series featuring Inspector Bordelli of Florence, Death in August takes its reader back to the 1960s (1963 to be exact), and a very hot and mosquito-laden summer. Pretty much everyone has left town for the seaside, but someone has to man the store, so Bordelli stays behind. He is soon called to the scene of a rather odd death -- an elderly woman has been found dead in her bed, and the doctor says that she died to an asthma attack, brought on by a severe alle ...more
The Books Blender
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Questa recensione è presente al suo blog: http://thebooksblender.altervista.org...

Mi capitò di leggere questo libro in estate, proprio nella stessa stagione in cui è ambientato il romanzo. Lì per lì, pensai che fosse una cosa molto carina, un modo che mi avrebbe permesso di immedesimarmi ancora di più nella lettura, visto che i commenti sul caldo nel libro si sprecano e, dopo un po’, sono anche eccessivi (…faceva molto caldo, ok! S’è capito!).

Primo di una serie di romanzi incentrati sul commissa
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Marco Croella
Giallo old-style molto piacevole, con l'unica grave pecca di alcuni dialoghi un po' (troppo) claudicanti.
Elsa
Dec 24, 2016 Elsa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No me ha gustado nada de nada. Nunca me había pasado que al llevar un 70% de un libro de novela negra no me interesase nada saber quién era el asesino.
Marika Oksa
Luettu loppuun lukumaratonin jälkimainingeissa. Pirteä dekkarituttavuus (ilmestynyt Aviadorilta suomeksi nimellä komisario Bordelli).
Debby Hallett
Apr 15, 2017 Debby Hallett rated it liked it
Well, it started out sort of dreadful and then turned into something OK. Once I'd finished it, I thought, "That was sort of ok. I'll buy the next one and the next one." I think they will improve as the author gains experience.
Miles
Aug 06, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
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 and 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 you
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Larraine
Jun 25, 2013 Larraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The crime genre has been experiencing an influx of European writers that have been translated into English. Most of them have been from the Nordic countries and other Northern European countries. Now we've been treated to an Italian author who brings that mix of irony, cynicism and romanticism to the crime genre that seems to be part of the Italian tradition.



This is the first of three books the author has published in Italy and the first that was translated into English. We meet Inspector Borde
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Elaine Tomasso
Oct 30, 2016 Elaine Tomasso rated it really liked it
August in Florence 1963 is roasting and Inspector Bordelli is one of the few Florentines working when he is called out to a suspicious death, Rebecca Pedretti-Strassen is found dead in her bed. It may be natural causes as she was asthmatic but the lid to her medication is screwed on properly which seems highly unlikely if she was in the throes of an attack.

Death In August is an old fashioned whodunnit as it is all about method, how did the suspects manage it when they appear to have an ironclad
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Pauline
Apr 12, 2012 Pauline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I got the feeling this book was written by two different people. I loved the detail of the settings and the weather. The depiction of the flies and the stifling heat really made me feel hot and irratable. I did feel as if I could be there.
Yet the obvious mistakes such as the mechanic popping the bonnet and fixing the engine...in a Beetle. The old lady who adored her cat so much she would make detailed provision in her will and leave it to her brother who adored mice so much he gave them all name
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Monica
Jan 21, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it
Oh goody - a new Italian detective series with an idiosyncratic protagonist who has an unusual group of friends and a fairly well developed sense of irony. Inspector Bordelli is one of the few working people left in Florence in the steaming August of 1963. He's called out to the death - maybe murder, maybe not - of an elderly woman who lived alone in a crumbling villa. She has a brother and two nephews. the presumed heirs, who might have a motive for helping her to die, but it appears to be an a ...more
Nancy
Interesting and unexpected style. I don't know if it's the translation, but the only other times I've encountered this style of writing, the books were categorized as magical realism. Perhaps that suits here as well, because the mystery seems primarily a vehicle for presenting the Inspector's recovered memories of sexual abuse as a child and traumatic events as a soldier in WWII Italy, as well as his relationships with his assorted and unusual friends. Being damaged as he is, coping with PTSD ca ...more
Ullalin
Aug 03, 2016 Ullalin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Todella hyvä rikosromaani Italiasta. Haluan lukea muut osat ja pian...
Chiaralletti
Non eccelso come trama, eh...però mi ha messo voglia di leggerne un seguito...mi sono piaciuti i personaggi!
Tony Fitzpatrick
Most of the European detective fiction I read has a dysfunctional leading character - policemen with hang ups, marital problems, and various vices. Inspector Bordelli however trumps them all. It is Florence, 1963, and he is investigating the murder of an old lady, with various relatives swooping around keen to inherit her considerable fortune. The mystery is fairly straightforward and solved easily. However Bordelli's background, rather than the crime, is the core of this book. We have his PTSD ...more
Kerrie
Dec 05, 2016 Kerrie rated it really liked it

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 su
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Sandro P.
E' il primo libro della serie del Commissario Bordelli ed il primo libro di Marco Vichi che leggo.
Particolare, ma sicuramente ben riuscita, è l'ambientazione nella Firenze degli anni '60.
A volte sembra dilungarsi un po' troppo in qualche descrizione non direttamente attinente alla trama, ma in genere questi passaggi servono a meglio delineare la figura del protagonista, il commissario Bordelli.
Nel complesso sono rimasto favorevolmente impressionato e sicuramente in futuro leggerò gli altri roman
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Baglady
Jun 30, 2017 Baglady rated it it was ok
Shelves: wplc-holdings
An old-school mystery with rambling descriptions and seemingly out of context WWII stories, but strangely enjoyable. Set in Florence, where I have vacationed, so the setting and way of life caught my imagination, but after reading about so much smoking I think I need to cough. The "who killed her" plot is interesting, and filled with quirky characters, but there is so much else filling the pages that if I had read this in less than a day I probably would have lost the plot
Donald Schopflocher
Mar 02, 2017 Donald Schopflocher rated it really liked it
A police procedural set in Florence in 1963, notable for the compassionate Inspector Bordelli, his memories, and his assortment of colourful colleagues and friends. And, yeah, he does solve a murder along the way.
Susan
Jul 05, 2017 Susan rated it liked it
So this book (and the series) came highly recommended to us by a bookstore owner in Florence as the "local" read. His description seemed to build up the main protagonist, Inspector Bordelli, as the Tuscan equivalent of Poirot or Sherlock, and so buying a copy was inevitable.
However, I must confess I am a tad bit disappointed with this first book of the series, based in 1960s Florence. The crime itself was a very regular murder with no twists in the tale or investigation, and the narration seemed
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Kristine Brancolini
Death in August is the first book in a mystery series set in Florence in 1963. The date is important because this book – and I believe the entire series that follows – uses the chronological setting to explore issues related the experience of Italians during World War II and the socio-political environment in Italy two decades later. The book had a familiar feel to me and I think I know one reason why. The translator is Stephen Sartarelli, who also translates Andrea Camilleri: Death in August ha ...more
Peter Anderson
Nov 21, 2015 Peter Anderson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A crime novel with lots of capsicum!

My rating would be 3 ⭐if Goodreads allowed it. That said, I would have rated this novel much higher if it did not contain so much capsicum! Capsicum, in my opinion, is something you add to a salad to provide bulk and a bit of colour but which does not have much impact on the overall flavour of the salad. In other words, Vichi has padded this novel just a bit too much.

Now in his favour, this is his first Commissar Bordelli novel so perhaps he felt the need to d
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LJ
First Sentence: 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.

When the police receive a call saying a housekeeper is certain her employer is dead, it sends them to the wealthy woman’s home. There, they do find the woman’s body. On the surface, it appears she died of an asthma attack, but Bordelli isn’t convinced. The housekeeper, Maria, believes she knows who is guilty. Bordelli must pr
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Writers and Readers : Vichi's Death in August Giveaway 1 5 Sep 05, 2012 05:33PM  
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Marco Vichi was born in Florence. The author of eleven novels and two collections of short stories, he has also edited crime anthologies, written screenplays, music lyrics and for radio, and collaborated on and directed various projects for humanitarian causes. His novel Death in Florence won the Scerbanenco, Rieti and Camaiore prizes in Italy. Marco Vichi lives in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
More about Marco Vichi...

Other Books in the Series

Il commissario Bordelli (6 books)
  • Una brutta faccenda
  • Death in Sardinia
  • Death in Florence
  • La forza del destino
  • Fantasmi del passato

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“The young were all fleeing the countryside to work in the city. Nobody seemed to want to live any more between the soil and the cow pats. [Italy in 1960s]” 1 likes
“It pleased him to see that things, and not only people, suffered the wear and tear of age. [53 yr old Inspector Bordelli's view]” 0 likes
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