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A Party In San Niccolo
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A Party In San Niccolo

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  20 reviews
An entrancing story that is one of the most absorbing examinations of the English in Italy since A Room With A View. Set during one week in springtime Florence, A Party In San Niccolo follows the events leading up to the seventy-fifth birthday party for Frances Richardson, a much-loved English resident. Around her, Frances' friends are gearing up for the party too: Frank, ...more
Published 2003 by Penguin Books
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Aug 03, 2014 added it
A long dragged out story. After 300 pages I finally got into the plot. Too many characters and too much description for my likes.

The story is bassed in Florence and around Sienna. She doesn't have the locations in the right order, but then she probably has NEVER been there.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, romance, mystery, 2013
Not a bad book, but I was a bit puzzled by the overarching theme that adultery is okay as long as it happens in Italy, or something.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m limping home to the end. Way too long, too much rubbish. I wanted to slap Gina and her hard done by attitude towards her children. Altogether not very engaging.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
My husband knows the author, so I was intrigued when he brought a couple of her books home. They passed the time quite pleasantly...
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a thriller with a realistic Italian background, although as first published in 2003 there are a couple of points that remove it from the 21C and the Italy that we know. The lira is no longer the currency and the wave of immigrants, although still a big problem, as I expect many of you reading this are aware, will often be of different nationalities to those featured. The depth of description of the ex-pat community in Florence reminds me in some ways of A Room With A View, although this ...more
Paul Jack
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too long and ponderous. This could have lost 100 pages without a detrimental effect on the overall story. Many of the characters are too stereotypical. It has also dated very quickly. Gina's failure to understand what a DVD is (or, lets face it in 2018, WAS) emphasize one of this books key faults. It was set in a contemporary Florence (of 2003) but seems, 15 years after publication, dated and anachronistic.
Becky D'ugo
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I started reading this a few months ago, just before a holiday in Tuscany, to get myself into the spirit of things. However, I lost interest because it simply took way too long to really kick off. Did not warm up to any of the main characters either, especially Gina whose pathetic attempt at sowing her wild oats was more akin to cold porridge. Flimsy. Only gave it three stars for its Tuscan setting and some of the descriptions, and probably only because it served as a brief reminder of having wa ...more
Italo Italophiles
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
A Party in San Niccolo is well-written in a stately, traditional style. It rotates point-of-view using a 3rd person limited perspective, letting us enter the heads of the various characters. Most of the characters are British expatriates living in Florence, Italy. They have to deal with a murder and the fact that the murderer is one of their group.

The writer has a strong grasp of psychology, so the various characters' behaviors ring true. We are privy to their thinking processes. We come to unde
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, library, audiobook
This book didn't seem to know what it was. Romance? Mystery? Crime book? Not badly written with a large cast of characters who are easy to track but, at times, it verges into the unbelievable. Why do people not ring the police when they need to, seemingly preferring to risk their own lives pursuing the murderer? And would Gina really have got involved in the way she did? Unlikely. For me, the book was let down by the risible denouement with Ned which made me laugh out loud. However, a light and ...more
Maggie White
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book set in Florence. The descriptions are great and really help to set the atmosphere. Story of Gina who goes to Florence to visit with her old college friend and get away from her three young children and husband as feeling stressed. She meets a lot of interesting characters and gets caught up in a murder mystery. Although the murder is in the story it is not the whole story and that made this book different and refreshing.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I friend lent this to me on a trip abroad and it was fun travel reading. It is a murder mystery set in the British ex-pat community in Florence, with a little bit of a romance thrown in. I liked that it showed a more modern portrait of Italy that wasn't Hollywood perfect. There are drug problems, prostitution, corruption, and human trafficking. I liked that it explored some of the effects of globalization on the underground economy.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
I was hoping this would be a good atmospheric book and it really was a good and gripping read. A murder / thriller but with the romance of Florence mingled with more sinister tones too. I could've read it in a single sitting if only I had the time! Looking forward to reading more from the same author
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
I really enjoyed this book, the characters were well written and although there were a lot of them I felt that I knew who everybody was and cared about a lot of them. I hadn't realised before I started reading it that there were murders at the centre of the story, which increased my pleasure in reading it as I enjoy mysteries. This is a book I would recommend to others, a real page-turner.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of atmosphere and wonderful desciptions of people and places. At the moment I am on my third reading of it.
Aug 23, 2012 added it
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Beautiful descriptions of Florence and the Maremma and it was interesting to read about the darker side to Florence (a city I love).

Dec 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is extremely entertaining and holds my attention so far!
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i really like the way she writes..good police who dunnit,with good descriptions of real italy,not the tourist dress up.
Annabelle Heap
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Easy, comforting holiday read.
Karen Moseley
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
The book started very slowly with lots of characters but improved dramatically as it progressed. A good entertaining read,good descriptions of Florence and the surrounding countryside.
Andy Harding
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2014
Lisa Magenheimer
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Apr 25, 2015
Hilde Mattens
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Dec 09, 2018
Judy Beyer
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Sep 16, 2009
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Feb 23, 2011
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Mar 22, 2019
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Oct 15, 2014
Jason Stamp
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Aug 28, 2017
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Nov 15, 2014
Tim Garner
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Jan 11, 2015
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Christobel Kent was born in London in 1962 and now lives in Cambridge with her husband and four children; in between she lived in Florence. She worked in publishing for several years, most recently as Publicity Director at Andre Deutsch. Her debut novel A Party in San Niccolo, was published in 2003.

* Sandro Cellini
“She was shocked by how dirty Florence was.” 0 likes
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