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The Villa in Italy (A Vintage Mystery)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,413 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
Four different people are named in a will - Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist; Marjorie, desperately poor & unable to dislodge her writer's block; & Lucius, whose personal life is in chaos. This is a tale of four strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast.
Paperback, 426 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by HarperTorch
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Malia
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I came into possession of this book mostly because I saw a copy for $.99 and because the cover was pretty. To say my expectations were neutral would not be a lie. So it was a lovely surprise to find in this book far more than a surface level romance or chick-lit novel, but rather an elegantly woven story of a cast of well developed characters and a beguiling setting I wanted to jump into. While the plot was, at times, predictable, there were a number of unexpected revelations to ...more
Echo
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer
To be perfectly candid, I originally downloaded this book because it was raining and the cover led me to believe it would be a light-hearted rom com set in sunny Italy.

However, what I ended up with was better than that. This story started off confusingly, but soon the main characters were in place and a mystery began to be uncovered, relationships developed and histories revealed. I found the whole thing enormously intriguing and couldn't put it down. I even got to luxuriate in the promised Ital
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics
Elizabeth Edmondson’s A Villa in Italy owes a large debt to her namesake, Elizabeth von Arnim and her magical The Enchanted April. As in van Arnim’s book, four dissimilar people (ladies in van Arnim’s version) descend on a villa in Italy, each vaguely dissatisfied with their lives, and their time on the continent changes them and their entire lives.

Edmondson takes that premise and adds a mystery. In her novel, set after World War II, the foursome — an opera singer, a floundering mystery novelist
...more
Thyago | MrsMargotBlog
http://mrs-margot.blogspot.pt/
"The Villa in Italy" is a completely irresistible story, the perfect combination of romance, a trip and a mystery to unravel.
Beatrice Malaspina was an extraordinary woman, with an impeccable sense of humor, sometimes a little sadistic, created a Villa full of art, culture, mystery, puzzles and various links and metaphors with the world of Dante writer.
    We caught the first page to last, it was hard to put the book down because we are hungry for more informatio
...more
Carol
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book, and it re-awakened my desire to visit Italy. The descriptions of the landscape, culture and people are very good and evoke the slow, lazy summer days one dreams of in Italy.

I found the writing quite old fashioned but it was set in the 50s and I think the author was trying to make that more authentic.

I didn't like the way the main character was always called by her full name 'Beatrice Malaspina', naturally one would call her Beatrice after using the name so many times, an
...more
Neide Parafitas
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, leituras-2013
Uma bela surpresa este livro!!! :)

Quatro pessoas que não se conhecem entre si vêem-se nomeadas num testamento de uma mulher, da qual não têm qualquer tipo de conhecimento.

Beatrice Malaspina, a mulher que fez o testamento e dona da Villa Dante exige que os quatro desconhecidos compareçam na sua Villa em Itália. Estes acedem, curiosos com este enigma e descobrem na Villa Dante um lugar mágico e capaz de operar milagres nos seus estados de espírito!

Mas à medida que procuram resolver o mistério ace
...more
Sue
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read thus book whilst on holiday in the sun, which was ideal.

It's a bit of pleasant escapism. Well written, quite intriguing, and it feels warm.wqa

It's not a literary masterpiece, but so what. It's worth going into for a few hours.
LindyLouMac
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Prior to picking up this book in an Oxfam Bookshop in the UK I had not even heard of this author. I was attracted to the title because of the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 that I had heard about early in December for which it seemed a perfect candidate.

It certainly was and I thoroughly enjoyed this easy to read and very atmospheric novel set in a grand but neglected villa on the northern Italian coastline of Liguria in the nineteen fifties.

The protagonists are four complete strangers
...more
Ann
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an enjoyable book this is. Unusual, absorbing, puzzling, this will keep you turning the pages seeking answers. Very well written with excellent main characters, there is a mystery to solve. I almost wished I was there to help search for clues!

The reader will also fall in love with the villa and the surrounding countryside. I enjoyed the whole experience of this read and am happy to recommend it.
Andreia Silva
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ste livro é qualquer coisa de fascinante! A história e o enredo à volta dela prende completamente o leitor! Aquele mistério todo com o cheiro a policial, mas sem o crime! E no fundo, o que o livro nos quer transmitir é que podemos sempre recomeçar de novo!
Dion Ribeiro
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As paisagens exuberantes da Itália, o romance e o mistério fizeram deste livro uma mistura deliciosa, garantindo-lhe assim a entrada no meu grupo dos favoritos.
ADOREI!!
Blair McDowell
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romantic suspense and mystery lovers
When I read the short biography of Elizabeth Edmondson on the website of the International Thriller Writers, I was intrigued enough to go online and download four of her books. I expected from the titles they would be rather run-of-the mill romantic suspense set in exotic locales. Far from it!

Edmondson writes “retro” books. They are set in the 1930’s 40’s and 50’s. They capture that period of recent history so authentically that, half way through The Villa in Italy, I looked back to see what the
...more
Zoe
Apr 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I only got as far as page 165, I very rarely abandon books but I could not be bothered with it any more! Predictable plot, clumsy writing, naff cliches, undeveloped characters, extremely formulaic and has put me off reading "chick-lit" for a long time. Maybe it's my fault for reading similar type of books in succession? Anyway, complete change of genre for next book!
Jane Watson
It's a nice book - lovely setting in Italy - found it slightly hard to get into somehow, but it got better towards the end. Possibly not one of her best but fine all the same.
Hilary
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
A good blend of mystery, romance and diverse and well drawn characters in a beautiful setting. Easy enjoyable holiday read.
Ally
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
pinar
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both 2.5 stars for this and the Frozen Lake. They're very similar in narrative and the way the stories are constructed. The first book I read by her was A Man of Some Repute and then its sequel; I think both are really good within their genre. Not this one, and not the Frozen Lake so much, although it's good for a rainy afternoon. The Villa starts out promising but by the second half, and especially by the end, everything gets so improbable that I felt like a 5 year old, reading a fairy tale. I ...more
Diane Will
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Four total stranger are summoned to Italy to the Villa Dante. Beatrice Malaspina has named them in her will and each travel to see what fate will be bestowed upon them.

Likable characters and enchanting descriptions of the villa and the gardens. A gentle building of the plot and bringing together of the mystery of how they are all linked to Beatrice. I enjoyed it enough but I was beginning to long for the conclusion. A few twists in the end but tied up neatly.

It almost had the taste of an Agatha
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Cassandra
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein schöner Schmöker um vier Personen, die sich laut dem Testament einer alten Dame in der Villa Dante in Italien einzufinden haben. Als da wären ein Atomphysiker, eine Opernsängerin, ein Banker und eine Krimiautorin. Mir gefiel besonders gut, dass es nicht so vorhersehbar war, wie ich vermutete und die Charaktere interessante Wandlungen durchmachten.

Andrea
Not a murder, or a theft, but a question of connection. Why have these four people been named in the will of a woman they have never even heard of?

The latest in a series of pleasant 'positive' reads for me, as four people's problems are laid bare and then unknotted.
Dora Santos Marques
Não consegui acabar este livro. Por muito que saltasse páginas, a história não se desenvolve. Tanta, tanta palha...não gostei mesmo.
Michael Stolle
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a fascinating read - although clearly focused on a female target group, I really liked the plot and I have to admire the way Edmondson created an atmosphere and a plot that kept me captivated. I know... there were loads of clichés, a bit too much bragging with classic education and Delia's transformation from a lamb in love ready for slaughter by Theo to a self-determined woman was a bit too fast.. but you can always find something to criticize.

In the end what counted for me: it was a gre
...more
Isabel Keats
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tiene de todo: intriga, una historia romántica. ¿Qué más se puede pedir? El escenario es de esos en los que te dan ganas de perderte y los personajes son geniales.
Diane Farren
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book! A great mystery
Jess Roelandts
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. It's my favourite Elizabeth Edmonton book by a long shot, and I've enjoyed all her books.

She has structured the book in such a way that she has time to let all of her characters breath and grow, and for us to get to know them with their foibles.

The villa is a perfect backdrop to some soul searching and sleuthing, and I really enjoyed the characters that she assembled. They are a varied lot but she managed to give them all their own unique voice. I found Marjerie intriguing, w
...more
Susan
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014books
Four different people are named in a will - Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist; Marjorie, desperately poor & unable to dislodge her writer's block; & Lucius, whose personal life is in chaos. This is a tale of four strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast.

I started off thinking this book was clichéd, stilted writing but stuck with it because the story was intriguing. However, the more I read the more I enjo
...more
Judy
As the series titles states, this is a vintage mystery, set in 1958 with the aftermath of WWII still influencing people's lives. The mystery is not typical either, there is no crime to solve, but rather 4 people are told that they have inherited something from a woman none of them have even heard of. To claim their inheritance they have to go to her villa in Italy and find the codicil to her will which explains their legacies. I found the development of the people's characters and the gradual un ...more
Kathy
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this post-war gathering of seemingly unrelated characters under the edict of legatees as each of four characters were notified to meet at the Italian villa where the deceased had lived a full life. One opera singer, one nuclear scientist, one mystery writer and one banker congregate, receive mysterious instructions from the Trust Attorney and slowly untangle the puzzle that will lead to the codicil. The process of getting to know each character during the discovery process could strain ...more
Mariazita
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gostei deste livro, uma estória intrigante muito bem escrita.
Quatro pessoas são convidadas a comparecerem numa Villa em Itália pois o nome delas é mencionado no testamento de Beatrice Malaspina, Mas quem é Beatrice , nenhum dos quatro conheceu está mulher, nem nunca ouviu falar dela, então porque é que eles foram mencionados no testamento de alguém que não conhecem.Mas de uma maneira estranha eles tem as suas vidas interligadas sem saberem e para um deles a revelação será inesperada
Um bom livro
...more
Mónica Silva
Opinião no blog http://howtoliveathousandlives.blogsp...

Este é o livro perfeito para as férias de Verão: é uma leitura relaxada, despreocupada que emana calor e descanso.

Com personagens caricatas e animadas, este livro leva-nos a uma viagem pelas suas vidas, pelos desgostos do passado até descobrirmos os motivos para terem sido chamados a esta villa. Assistimos à criação de laços de amizade e à revelação de segredos obscuros.

Esta é uma obra divertida, cativante, descontraída, sem grande impacto
...more
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Born in Chile, and educated in Calcutta and London before going to Oxford University, Elizabeth Edmondson divided her time between the countryside north of Rome and the spires of Oxford. She was married to an art historian and had two children.

In Edmondson's words: "I write historical mysteries about love, marriage families and friendship, where the loyalties, feuds, secrets and betrayals of the p
...more
More about Elizabeth Edmondson...

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