The Strange Death of a Romantic by Jim Williams
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Contemporary
Mystery
Set in Italy
Non-Series

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CRIMNI - Italian Noir


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Jim Williams

BIO
JIM WILLIAMS is a lawyer but in his spare time is an avid student of history. He is the author of three other books--written under the pseudonym Richard Hugo--including ‘Farewell to Russia’ and ‘Lara’s Child’. He travels extensively and speaks French. German, Italian and Spanish. He is happily married and lives in Stockport.
Set in La Spezia
(Toscana)
©2001

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The Strange Death of a Romantic

JACKET NOTES:  In 1822 the poet Shelley drowned in a sailing disaster near the Italian town of La Spezia. Or was he murdered? Closer examination of the facts suggests that Shelley's death may have been far from accidental.
Just over a century later, young doctor Guy Parrot and his glamorous new friends pass a summer it La Spezia.The actor Ambrose Carmody the poet Lewis Lockyer, the bootlegger Jackie Ferris, the socialite Margot Davenant, and the beautiful, enigmatic Julia Carradine while away the evenings at the Villa Esperanza in elaborate parlour games, speculating on the truth behind Shelley's demise. But just as the poet's death conceals dark and secret tensions, so too a sinister subtext lurks behind the group's seemingly innocent diversions, and Guy's Italian summer ends in a death, a disappearance, and a devastating love affair that conspire to destroy his emotional and mental wellbeing...
In the aftermath of war Guy returns as an officer to La Spezia.There he is forced to confront the shadows of that summer of 1930, to reconstruct the past and in so doing save his failing marriage from emotional sterility. But death and deception are never far from La Spezia--as Guy discovers on his return to the Villa Esperanza.
And who murdered Percy Shelley? Williams reveals the killer's identity in this witty and urbane, curious and beguiling novel, blending an intriguing tale of murder-mystery with the sophisticated literary game--playing for which he is renowned.
(© Scribner)