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By My Hand
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March 2016: Mystery Thriller > By My Hand by Maurizio de Giovanni - 5 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1910 comments The first four Ricciardi novels were set in successive seasons of 1931. By My Hand is the fifth and is set in 1931 Naples at Christmas. Commissario Ricciardi, whose aristocratic family died when he was a child, lives with his elderly Tata Rosa, and carries a terrible burden. He sees the dead. Not every dead person, just the ones who have died a violent death. Whenever he arrives at a murder scene, he hears the last words of the dead. Their voices are a lonely burden for Ricciardi, compelling him to seek justice for them. He and loyal sidekick, Brigadier Maione, are called to the scene of a terrible murder, the stabbing deaths of a husband and wife from a wealthy family. An elaborate, hand-carved manger scene which Garofalo had set up for his young daughter for the holidays is minus St. Joseph, the broken statue having been kicked under a tablecloth nearby. Emanuele Garofalo is a rising star in a fascist circles, where the possibilities for corruption are enormous. Garofalo, who acquired his position by making false claims against his boss, is involved in criminal activities, so there are plenty of suspects to choose from. Ricciardi also learns that he and Maione are under investigation by the Fascists, and strong suggestions are made that it is not in their best interests to pursue this murder.

The personal lives of both Ricciardi and Maione play an integral role in this book. Maione's policeman son, Luca, was killed three years ago and recent events at the prison reveal that the person who was punished for his death might not have been the real killer. Ricciardi is the focus of two women we've met in the previous books. Livia, the widow of the world's greatest tenor, has moved to Naples to pursue Ricciardi, but he is still secretly longing for Enrica, a shy young woman who lives across the street from him. His only happiness comes from sitting in his room at night and watching her embroider.

This is my favorite mystery series. I discovered it late last year and did something I never do......I bought all the audios at one time. The books are difficult to find and I don't think this is a series that would be enjoyed by everyone. They are translated from Italian, but done very well in my opinion. I think each book gets better and better. The secondary characters are wonderful and I often feel like I can picture medical examiner Dr. Modo and Bambinella, a transvestite friend of Brigadier Maione. The poverty and fear of the citizens of Naples is incredibly realistic. If you ever come across one of the books in this series, I highly recommend it and hope you'll give it a try.

message 2: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4864 comments Sounds interesting - I will have to look into this series!

message 3: by JoLene (last edited Mar 07, 2016 08:20PM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Definitely sounds interesting. I'll have to find the first one.

We read The Crocodile last year for our F2F book club and it got a pretty good rating from all of us.

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1910 comments I loved The Crocodile and it was the first book I ever read by Maurizio de Giovanni. Did you see there's a new Inspector Lojacono book coming out April 6th called The Bastards of Pizzofalcone. Count me in.

Booknblues | 5343 comments Olivermagnus wrote: "This is my favorite mystery series.."

You convinced me. I know that we often agree on mysteries, so I want to read this series.

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