Your scruples do you credit, detective, but, really it’s no way to get ahead, is it?
I like to get stuck into a good crime mystery and I thoroughly enjoy Inspector Zen.
Inspector Zen is most decidedly in Rome. And what a Rome it is! The ancient Roman politicians would recognise it. The wheels within wheels of intrigue, scandal and political corruption. A Rome in which connections mean everything, men scramble for favours and where Aurelio Zen fights crime, despairs of bureaucracy and frets about his mother.
The Zen novels, written by Michael Dibdin, are perceptive narratives about Italian culture and Italian politics with a likable main character. Curiously, these novels aren’t translations, they’re written in English. They have puzzling mysteries, dark secrets, explosive characters all the way from dubious back streets to the Vatican. Highly enjoyable books
In Cabal, Zen is summoned to the Vatican to investigate the suicide – or murder – of Prince Ludovico Ruspanti, a Knight of Malta, who plummeted to his death from the dome of the basilica.
My Amazon link : Cabal: An Aurelio Zen Mystery
Zen himself is an unusual character. He’s subtly foreign, scion of a notable and ancient Venetian family and somehow he doesn’t quite fit into the blokey atmosphere of the office. He’s different. He has a reputation for integrity.
Everything, the clothes, the dialogue, the coffee bars, the villains are thoroughly Italian in setting and tone. No, I’ll amend that, Everything is thoroughly Roman.