Death in Autumn by Magdalen Nabb

The Marshal Guarnaccia detective series is so enjoyable. I have spent the past few weeks slogging through the first three books of an historical mystery series and have taken a vow not to ever read books I don’t care for. People have different guidelines for deciding whether to finish a book; I’m inclined toward the 30 page rule. If I can’t get into a book, if I don’t care about the characters, then I will put that book in the Half-Price Book pile.
As soon as I make this rule, I remember books that I ended up loving. For example, I must have tried four or five times to get into Women in Love before I became accustomed to Lawrence’s style. I wasn’t crazy about the first Marshal Guarnaccia books I read: Death of an Englishman and Death in Springtime. They were good, but not exciting. But I persisted. I was rewarded by this book.
I was lucky enough to be able to visit Florence several years ago. I wish I could go back and back and back. I saw it as a tourist; Nabb, an Englishwoman, moved there in 1975 and stayed. She knew it intimately. This all adds to the immediacy of and involvement in the story.
It seems that the character of the Marshal is becoming more developed. We are learning more about it and he is becoming more real.
I have two nits to pick: 1) why was it necessary to kill the dog? Marshal Guarnaccia was so indifferent to this dog’s fate. Why are people so important and animals so disposable?
2) What is a Substitute Prosecutor? I wish Nabb had included notes. I Googled this, to no avail. Does anyone know? Is he really a substitute? Why does Italy use Substitute Prosecutors? Where are the Permanent Prosecutors?
I have begun reading Property of Blood – engrossing.


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