The Florentine Win by Harriet La Barre
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Contemporary
Mystery
Set in Italy
Non-Series

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CRIMNI - Italian Noir


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Harriet La Barre

BIO
HARRIET LA BARRE has published one previous mystery, ‘Stranger in Vienna’, but most of her published work until now has been in the field of travel writing. The author divides her time between New York City and Key West, Florida.
Set in Florence
(Toscana)
©1988

Out of Print

The Florentine Win

JACKET NOTES:  Johanna March--adrift in Florence after the job she is promised fails to materialize, her father dead after a long illness, all her ties to her home in the States cut, barely enough money for another day at the modest Pensione Boldini--is desperate. Encountering the polite Italian she had shared a table with at breakfast, she sees the man murdered before her eyes--by, the police conclude, a mugger And then to find in her bag the man's ticket for the soccer pools, to learn that its a winning one, that she could claim the prize without question, that she suddenly possessed over a million American dollars!
But no one knows who this man was, The name he has used for years during his regular stays at the pensione, Signor Botto, is false. No one arrives to claim the body, to ask after a missing relative, friend, business associate. The money is hers.
That is too easy. Johanna feels she must make some effort to find out Signor Botto's real identity-mostly to reassure herself that she can rightfully keep the prize money that is such a godsend. With one slim clue, she begins a painful effort to track her mysterious acquaintance. And the little she learns convinces her that there is danger in seeming to know any- thing.
Then there is Jeff Thornton. An American on business in Italy, he had caught a glimpse of "Boffo" with Johanna and wonders if the man could possibly have been an old friend whom he hadn't seen in years--one Alessandro Faziolini--but he is far from sure.
Johanna, through a ruse, accompanies Jeff to the villa that is the country home of the tight-knit Faziolini family--Alessandro, his wife, his parents, his widowed sister Elisabetta, and her twin children. It is a family of enormous wealth; it is also a family that underwent a recent tragedy when the eight-year-old twins were kidnapped and returned only after the payment of a huge ransom.
Suspense, danger--and romance--become Johanna's lot as she grows closer to the colorful family in whose midst she has landed-and closer to learning what really happened that rainy night in Florence, and why. As she does so, she comes very close to her own death as well.
(© Walker and Company)