“Much to enjoy in the clash of cultures and superstitions, even a tasty recipe for poisoning your friends with pasta. Detail like this places European crime writing on a par with its American counterpart.”—Belfast Independent
Some favors simply cannot be refused. Tonio agrees to write a love letter for Dario, a low-rent Paris gigolo. When Dario is murdered, a single bullet to the head, Tonio finds he has been left a small vineyard near Naples. The wine is undrinkable, but an elaborate scam has been set up. The smell of easy money attracts the unwanted attentions of the Mafia and the Vatican and the unbridled hatred of the locals. Mafiosi aren’t choir boys, and monsignors can be very much like Mafiosi.
Winner of three mystery prizes in one year, including the Grand Prix de la Littérature Policière and the Prix Mystère de la Critique.
Tonino Benacquista, born in France of Italian immigrants, dropped out of film studies to finance his writing career. After being in turn a museum watchman, a train guard on the Paris-Rome line and a professional parasite on the Paris cocktail circuit, he is now a highly successful author of fiction and film scripts.
Who hasn’t wanted to become “someone else”? Over a drink in Paris, two men give each other three years to see which one can more radically alter his life. Blin becomes a private detective. He takes on a new identity, even a surgically altered face. Gredzinski, a self-effacing corporate executive, discovers liquor that evening and rapidly yields to the sensuality and self-confidence induced by alcoholism. Things get complicated when Blin is hired by an ex-lover to find himself and when Gredzinski secretly follows his girlfriend to her home. A helter-skelter tale of humor and suspense.
Winner of the literary prize RTL-Lire.
The Blakes are newcomers to a small town in Normandy. Fred is a historian researching the Allied landings, Maggie enjoys charity work, and their kids are looking forward to meeting other teenagers at the local lycée. Or so it seems.
In fact, Fred is really Giovanni Manzoni, an ex-goodfella turned stool pigeon who’s been relocated from New Jersey to France by the FBI’s witness protection program. He’s got a two-million-dollar bounty on his head, but he and his family can’t help attracting attention (imagine the Sopranos in Normandy). And when imprisoned mobster Don Mimino gets wind of their location, it’s Mafia mayhem à la Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper, or like The Godfather as if written by Carl Hiaasen. Because while you can take the man out of the Mafia, you can’t take the Mafia out of the man.
From the Trade Paperback edition.