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Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

(Tante Poldi #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  5,148 ratings  ·  1,009 reviews
On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. But Sicily isn’t quite the tranquil island she thought it would be, and something always seems to get in the way of her relaxation. When her handsome young handyman goes missing—and is discovered murdered—she can’t help ...more
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published March 12th 2015)
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George Many of the same places you can buy any book. If your local independent bookseller can't acquire it, you can go online to…moreMany of the same places you can buy any book. If your local independent bookseller can't acquire it, you can go online to
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George And your point is?

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Average rating 3.40  · 
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This is the first of a series featuring the retired German quirky Isolde Oberreider aka Auntie Poldie, who has moved to Sicily with every intention of living the good island life of sun, sea and wine whilst eyeing up the young men. The book sets out to establish a set of characters, the tone of gentle humour in this crime cozy and is narrated by Auntie Poldie's nephew, Giordano, an aspiring writer. Her magnetic personality draws people to her and who go out of their way to help her. One such per ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Auntie Poldi is an eccentric, Bavarian lady; who always wears a wig, enjoys photographing traffic controllers and fully intends to retire to Sicily in order to drink herself to death. Her nephew, who is currently writing a book, spends much of his time visiting – and narrates much of the story. Poldi’s nephew is not the only person that she has helping out though and much is made of how everyone who comes in contact with Poldi wants to help her. This includes a handsome young man names Valentino ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, actually.

If you're looking for what I'd describe as a cute, almost-cozy murder mystery with some quirky characters, you might want to give this one a try. Where else will you find a borderline elderly retired costume designer with a nose for adventure who's moved to Sicily for the sole purpose - at least initially - of drinking herself to death?

Meet Auntie Poldi, officially Isolde Oberreider. Despite her penchant for wearing askew wigs, she considers herself to be attractive to the op
Sid Nuncius
I expected to enjoy this rather more than I did. It's not bad, but it could have done with a good deal more focus and a good deal less background and self-conscious quirkiness.

Aunti Poldi is a Bavarian woman who, at the age of about 60, moves back to Sicily to be with her sisters and drink herself to death. However, a murder mystery and a handsome policeman begin to restore her. Poldi herself is a real Character – rather too much so, for my taste. Her "characterful" behaviour became increasingly
Sylvain Reynard
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mario Giordano is a German author. I read this book in its English translation.
The author takes us to Sicily with his Bavarian aunt, who has relocated to a city by the sea for her retirement. In short order, she makes friends with the locals, spends time with her relatives, and discovers a body. The story unfolds in charming fashion as Aunt Poldi attempts to solve the murder while learning more about Sicilian culture and history.
Coincidentally, I too am an aunt. Obviously must read.

Well, let's address the elephant in the room. Despite our shared aunt-hood, I am nothing like Auntie Poldi.
But gosh darn it, I kind of want to be. She just rocket-launched onto my favorite characters list. I'm obsessed.
Where to begin with this gem of a book? I'm a little hazy on the exact definition of a cozy mystery but I think this counts as one. It is a lovely setting. The author conveys life in Sicily through quirky characters, beauti
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Auntie Poldi has decided to retire in Munich and retire to a house by the sea in Sicily and drink herself to death but spending her remaining time flirting with various men. She has sisters in Sicily and her nephew flies out every few weeks from Germany to keep an eye on her. This may be a cultural thing but that alone seemed odd to me. How could he afford the time and money? It is Europe so travel is easier but it still seems like a big commitment. The story is told through the nephew's eyes.

Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing an e-galley of Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano in exchange for an honest review. This mystery is narrated by the nephew of Auntie Poldi, a sixty-year-old retiree from Munich who has decided that Sicily will be ideal for her quiet, alcohol-imbued retirement. However, life changes unexpectedly when her handyman is murdered and our heroine becomes an amateur sleuth. Her meddling ways cause problems for the poli ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the outgoing, fun-loving, wine-guzzling Auntie Poldi relocates from her native Bavaria to her late husband’s ancestral home of Sicily, one couldn’t imagine more of a fish out of water. Wearing bright clothes, telling smutty stories, drinking to excess, Auntie Poldi stands in stark contrast to her loyal Sicilian in-laws: Poldi’s late husband’s three sisters, a Bavarian-born nephew and her brother-in-law, Uncle Martino. Auntie Poldi (a.k.a. Isolde Oberreider) had every intention of drinking h ...more
A murder mystery that is a cross between Beautiful Ruins and the cozy mystery genre.

It's throughly a murder mystery but I wouldn't put it in the subgenre of cozy mystery.

I've really been enjoying the books being published this year that feature older characters who prove that they may be old but they are far from dead or useless.

Auntie Poldi isn't actually that old. Only 60. Feisty enough to be a big nuisance to the local detective unlucky enough to catch the case.

A distinct personality and a
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Auntie Poldi is a woman after my own heart. All she wants in her retirement is a view of the sea and a good bottle of wine. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is the first book in a new series by German-Italian writer Mario Giordano. I love mysteries that take place in different parts of the world like The Number One Ladies Detective Series which takes place in Botswana.

Following the death of her husband, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily to be close to relatives, have a view of the sea and so
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Auntie Poldi retires from her job as a costume designer in Munich and moves to Sicily. You'll never see her without her wig and almost always with a drink in her hand. I wish she wouldn't drink that much.... otherwise she is a pretty fun and eccentric character.

This older lady that never beats around the bush and the sun and warmth of Sicily make this mystery a unique experience. She does a good job of investigating and discovers a bunch of criminal activities in the little town. Lots of humour
Kari Ann Sweeney
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Anyone who enjoys a glass of crisp Prosecco before noon is fine by me.

It takes place in Sicily, but was originally written in German, so perhaps the translation hindered my ability to get into it right away. But by chapter 8 I was hooked. This quirky, charming mystery will make you wish you were in Sicily with Auntie Poldi. She is smart, sassy and so much fun! I'd love to be her sidekick. Where do I sign up?
Kate Olson
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
☀️🥂 #partner • Traveling to Sicily with Auntie Poldi was a DELIGHT! This is a story in a familiar genre ~ woman of a certain age solves a murder while engaging in hijinks along the way ~ set in a delicious location with a very welcome European flair. Given that Poldie is actually German, she learns about the region’s customs and quirks alongside us non-Sicilians, making this a great cultural experience for me. I believe it’s my first book that I’ve ever read set entirely in Sicily and it was jus ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
If I had to read one more sentence that started "My Auntie Poldi" ... I think this would have been a lot better read if Giordano had just stuck with plain old standard third person. Preempting scenes as if he was there, witnessing/hearing it got to be distracting and annoying.

The gist of the story is "my auntie Poldi" interferes with the police as she tries to solve a mystery she is involved with. There is an attraction between her and the main investigator, friction between another and the per
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book by the cover (even though I read on Kindle), and the concept of location and a woman of ‘a certain age’.
I certainly don’t think there are enough books that represent this age group of women.
Overall I enjoyed the book, though there were stages where I thought ‘can I really be bothered to carry on’?
I’m glad I did. In fact I’m looking forward to reading the next book, as I believe this writer may have overcome the more laboured parts in this one.
Not to forget that this bo
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Poldi is a sort of German Agatha Raisin....she's an older woman but not of the "little old lady" variety. I picture her more like Maude on the Golden Girls. She's enterprising and persistent whether it's tracking down clues in a case or getting a man....some funny parts. I like Agatha Raisin better but neither one is LOL funny. If anyone knows of cozy mysteries that are truly funny, I'd be interested. I need something light in between my usual depressing fare. ...more
Laurie King blogged about older female detectives, so I downloaded a few that I had never read before to see if I could find a series I would enjoy reading. Auntie Poldi is just not my cup of tea. I think she has a lot of fans, though.

Library Loan
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. Thank you!

Man, this book is not at all what I thought it would be. My book club chose it because we wanted something light and summery; an easy-breezy, funny, and sexy read. Looking at the gorgeous cover of this one, you'd think this would be a safe pick, right? Nope. Out of seven of us, only three bothered to finish the book. It was definitely not what we were looking for!

I wish I could pinpoint what exactly didn't work for m
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After awhile I felt I wasn't getting into this one, but decided to soldier on. At around 2/3, I fell asleep finding the book at the end when I awoke. I just didn't care enough to go back and listen - moving on. The gimmick of the narrator nephew was okay, but I think one has to be "Bavarian" (NOT just German) to appreciate it Poldi and her background.

Donna Craig
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot blather on enough about how much I enjoyed this book. Auntie Poldi is my new hero—I want to be just like her! She crazy, quirky, impulsive, smart, and possessed of a marvelous sense of herself. She also likes to drink and smoke a bit. After being widowed, she disposes of her small estate and buys a charming home in Sicily, where she plans to die with a view of the sea and a glass of wine. But life is not finished with Poldi—and Poldi discovers that she is not finished with life. She get ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a 3.5 read.

A gutsy protagonist, Auntie Poldi, who has experienced the vicissitudes of life and has a passion for cocktails and virile men in uniforms has “retired” to Sicily to drink wine and admire the scenery until a young reliable handyman disappears. As Poldi sets out to get her man, literally and figuratively, the reader is taken on several adventures that take on some challenging and deadly turns. While it took me a while to find my reading form for this novel, it was the landscap
When I started this book I really wasn't sure what to expect. However the style of the writing soon grew on me.

I enjoyed the way the characters unfolded. There is some excellent underlying humour.

I liked the descriptions of the places and the use of many real locations. I was reminded of a recent holiday in the region. The author has created a novel with a sense of geographical authenticity.

The murder mystery elements are somewhat simplistic, but the entertaining writing style still makes this
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was terribly written and I could not relate to the main character of Auntie Poldi (not surprising as I am not a 60-year old German woman living in Sicily who would like to drink herself to death). The device/character of her nephew who was writing a book was not well-done. Ironically (and sadly), the author did have a German aunt living in Sicily who drank herself to death, so it is a shame that this part of the book did not resonate at all. However, I could see how I was sucked in to ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Auntie Poldi leaves her native Bavaria in her sixtieth year, in a quest to get a new life in sunny Sicily. She's no Miss Marple, she's no Hercule Poirot, she's not precious. She's full bodied, hilarious, still in the game, and racing to find answers on a crime before the local police, one of which she has more than a passing interest in. So it is personal. There's more than usual humor here and something about how law enforcement plays out in Sicily, and a more than intriguing mystery to solve. ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being of Italian descent, the title of this book grabbed me immediately. What's not to love about an Aunti and Sicilian Lions? Auntie Poldi retires to the island of Sicily, dreaming that her life will consist of nothing but relaxation and great wine. She ends up turning into an amateur sleuth with a lot of adventures coming her way. It's a wonderful book!! ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily and almost immediately gets caught up in a police investigation even though she was repeatedly told "no." She thinks authorities neglect the case so her determination to solve it drives her to ignore threats and warnings from officials. The story does not flow well. Whether that lies in the original story or in the translation, I do not know. I never developed a liking for Auntie Poldi, and I doubt I will read future installments. ...more

Auntie Poldi is a 60-year old Bavarian widow who has decamped to Sicily to “die facing the sea” with a drink in her hand. In this, her first case, Poldi is determined to find out who murdered her handsome young handyman. She would seem to have all the necessary attributes required of the amateur sleuth:

Eccentricity (has never been seen without her black wig)
Trademark wardrobe (overly flamboyant garb)
Dismissive of danger (Mafia, shmafia)
Dogged (unafraid to use her
William Bentrim
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano

This is a tale of a middle age woman going through a personal crisis, struggling to maintain her youth and ideals and happy to share he opinions on all facets of life with even reluctant listeners.

Auntie Poldi moves to Sicily after the death of her beloved husband. Buying a house overlooking he sea she becomes an eccentric part of the community. The disappearance of her handyman leads her to romance and intrigue.

The book has it's moments whe
Carol (Reading Ladies)
If you’re searching out an entertaining and purely escapist read, you might like this story filled with quirky characters, Italian culture, a mystery, and a bit of romance. I thought the choice of narrators was a little odd and one sequence where Auntie Poldi cooks breakfast in the nude in the presence of her 20 something nephew was questionable....but perhaps I over think things! If a man were to do this in front of a girl it would be different I think 🤔 it seems like situations should be able ...more
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MARIO GIORDANO, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Munich. He is the author of 1,000 Feelings for Which There Are No Names; he has also written thrillers, books for children, and screenplays. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is his first novel translated into English. He lives in Cologne.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Other books in the series

Tante Poldi (5 books)
  • Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna
  • Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio
  • Auntie Poldi and the Lost Madonna: A Novel
  • Tante Poldi und der Gesang der Sirenen

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These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
126 likes · 46 comments
“Sweet, salt, bitter, piquant - Sicilian cuisine is all-embracing and pleasurably involves all the senses in a single dish. A gelato must also be like this. Sweet as a whispered promise, the pistachio ice cream salty as sea air, the chocolate ice cream faintly bitter and a little tart like a lover's goodbye the next morning.” 2 likes
“The Mafia, Donna Poldina, is just an invention of the fascists in the north.” 0 likes
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