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Some Bitter Taste (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery #12)
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Some Bitter Taste (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery #12)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  157 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The Twelfth Marshal Guarnaccia Investigation

When an elderly woman drops by the Florentine carabinieri to complain that someone broke in to her apartment while she was out, Marshal Guarnaccia listens patiently, offers advice, and vows to pay her a visit. But before he can keep his promise, Miss Hirsch is found dead, her throat cut. She wasn’t the only person to come to the
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Soho Crime (first published October 15th 2002)
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Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't usually read mysteries. I tend to think, "Why should I care about an imaginary crime?" For me to like this book is in fact credit to the author’s writing ability.

I liked it because:
-I love the humble investigator, Marshall Guarnaccia, working from the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. He is not merely a detective but as well a husband and father. Unpresuming, modest and hardworking. He is a bit overweight, sweats in the summer heat, loves his wife and kids but never has five minutes for anythin
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guarnaccia
Number 12 in the Marshal Guranaccia series set in Florence, Some Bitter Taste is outstanding. The pace is quick, the plot intriguing, and the characters believable and sympathetic. The last quarter of the book is a real page-turner; it was too good to put down until I had finished it.[return] Over the series, Guarnaccia really hasn't changed: a big man, kind, truly caring for those in his quarter whom he is sworn to protect, he views himself, however, as slow and a bit stupid. But by this point ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am almost at the end of this series by Magdalen Nabb. This is the 12th book featuring Marshal Guarnaccia. In this book Guarnaccia is once again the silent, strong character that he has been in previous novels. He is always second guessing himself and considers others to be better at solving crime than he is. This is humble attitude is what makes him so appealing to me.

In "Some Bitter Taste" Guarnaccia is quite certain he knows who is behind the murder of a lonely, elderly woman...he just need
First Sentence: The young man, Gjergj, just disappeared.

An elderly woman believes a stranger has been in her apartment and asks Marshal Guarnaccia to visit her. Another case of a wealthy expatriate interferes. When he does, he discovers she has been murdered. The two cases involving the past, as well as Albanian and Jewish refugees, causes Guarnaccia to question his own judgment.

For places we’ve not been, one tends to think of the idealized version of them. Nabb quickly dispels that image of Flo
Angela Lewis
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet, well as sweet as unsavoury characters can allow. Pulls together nicely.
Deborah Moulton
Feb 03, 2010 rated it liked it
This third book cycles back to the repercussions of WW II on the war's survivors and their children. Ill-gotten goods and wealth based on the misery of others form the center of this story. You have to view it as a morality tale since the uneasy conscience of a war-driven scoundrel drives his life and that of his children, legitimate and not, until they are all passed away into history in modern-day Florence.

No one benefits from the riches. It prettifies their lives and in the end only makes th
Norbert P
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marshall Guarnaccia is involved in two cases this time and in both he seems to be too late to prevent the worst. When an old lady tells him about her suspicions that somebody has intruded her appartment, he finds her murdered the other day and when he is going to arrest the pimps of some teenage Kosovo Albanian illegal immigrants, he witnesses a seventeen year old girl being thrown out of the driving car. She survives but remains mentally handicapped for the rest of her life. Sweating under the ...more
Austen to Zafón
I enjoy Nabb's mysteries, which are set in Florence Italy and center around a plump, endearingly self-depracating marshal who is allergic to the sun. I have been sick and I'm currently reading a lot of serious, thoughty, not very cheery books, and I needed something I could consume quickly. This fit the bill. Well, murder isn't exactly cheery, I'll give you that, but it is very distracting and engaging and doesn't require a lot of serious thought. As always, she's a master of evoking the feel of ...more
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This detective story starts off with an idea from a George Simenon novel and takes it in a totally different direction. A woman called Sara Hirsch comes to the police station in Florence with a complaint that someone has been in her apartment while she was out. Marshall Guarnaccia listens, offers advice and promises to stop by. Before he can keep his promise, Miss Hirsch dies in suspicious circumstances. Strong characterizations, skillfully handled multiple story lines, and deft plotting made fo ...more
Kimberly Ann
"Bitter Taste" is an accurate title for this book......

I did figure out part of the "mystery" and relationship between two of the victims.

I learned a wee bit about the Jews in Italy who "helped" other exiled Jews by buying their valuables so that the exiles could escape Europe (if they were fortunate enough).

Part of the underlying theme (beside "family") was "Could this murder/death have been avoided?".

This was a very sad book.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
Another mystery in which various crimes occur but are then tied together by a common thread through the tireless efforts of Marshal Guarnaccia. This one is a bit forced...all of the various elements are almost too obviously singular events of mundanity despite the sure feeling the reader gets that nothing random can be discounted. It's almost disappointing as the random events are corralled together into a devious plot of betrayal and murder.
Donna Maroulis
I really liked the main character of the book , the Marshal Guarnacchia of the Florence police department. He has such a humble opinion of himself but everyone around him admires and likes him. And yet he seems baffled when he gets admissions and cooperation out of people without seeming to try to !
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Marshal investigates the murder of a woman who had come to him with fears that someone had been in her apartment. He is the one who finds her body. Love the Marshal as a character, the mix of self-doubt and his ability to draw out information by just talking. The mysteries at play here did just make me sad though.
Michael Romo
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Marshal Guarnaccia in this mystery confronts the death of an elderly Jewish spinster that holds a secret from the past. This secret intersects with the life of Sir Christopher Wrothesley, an English expatriate living in sumptuous wealth at Villa L'Uliveto near Florence. As usual, Guaraccia is surprised at the trust shown in his abilities by his superiors. That trust is not misplaced.
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
The Marshall is a wonderful character and the stories are set in Florence. that's more than enough compensation for ordinary writing. Nabb is not a bad writer but neither is she extraordinary. The Marshall however is endearing.
Candy Wood
Jan 10, 2013 added it
Shelves: mysteries
With the combination of the old legacy of World War II and the new problem of Albanian immigration, as well as Marshal Guarnaccia's frustration with his young sons' immersion in computer games, this is an especially good entry in the series, of both historical and current interest.
Laurie D
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok

This is a detective novel that takes place in Florence. I enjoy reading books set in a city I'm visiting. In that respect it was better than two stars!
Jane Routley
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: detective
This would appeal to Donna Leon fans. Humble pleasant detective, similar dark territory, beautiful descriptions. I felt it fell in a heap a bit at the end but it was a great read.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I read several of these mysteries by Nabb--each set in or around Florence. They are fun both for their mystery plots and for being set in Italy.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I definitely intend to read more. I liked the multiple mysteries that tied together at the end.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
Quite a mundane read, I thought. My mother had a spare copy and I read it during the course of a road trip. It passed the time, but I wasn't overly keen on it.
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans, Italophiles
One of the best mysteries I've ever read. Artful blending of two family narratives with historical (WWII) background in a Florentine setting.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm used to books that are faster paced, much more exciting, and a bit more interesting than this. It wasn't bad as such, it was just too mundane.
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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 of a Dutchman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #2)
  • 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)