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The Achille Peroni Mystery Series
The Neapolitan Streak
Product Description: Achille Peroni loves the spicy food and passionate arguments of southern Italy, land of his birth. But fate -- and the Italian police force -- have stuck him in Verona, a city of bean soup and endless problems with the Red Brigades, a vicious gang that relies on bombs and high-profile kidnappings to further its rather fuzzy political aims. When a wealthy general, head of one of Italy's finest Fascist families, goes missing from his palatial estate, the Reds are the most obvious suspects. But Peroni finds himself considering a crime far more subtle and sinister than anything the Reds can dream up. A crime, in fact, the leads all the way back to Romeo and Juliet, the most famous Vernoseses of them all.
JACKET NOTES: Introducing the "Rudolph Valentino of the Italian police": Inspector Achille Peroni, native of Naples, is as suave as he is clever, as quick to capture a woman's heart as he is to catch a crook or coax a confession. And when he uses his legendary talents to investigate a murder amidst Verona's leading families, the result is Hercule Poirot gone Italian.
To a typically efficient Verona police chief, the murder of a famous ex-Fascist general means a new Red Brigade vendetta, but Achille Peroni suspects some- thing much purer and subtler than mere terrorism. That inevitable flash of southern luck-the "Neapolitan streak"-will prove him right, but only after a bizarre series of adventures that would do-in any straitlaced northerner. While the rest of the force goose-chases the Red Brigade all over the city. Peroni is baffled by a sup- posed coincidence spanning five centuries: the murdered general is apparently descended from Verona's Montagues, the leading Red suspect from the Capulets: is the Romeo and Juliet feud alive again in modern Italy?
Behind shouting headlines, another Brigade-style murder, and false leads that take him from city mansion to country vineyard, Peroni senses a conniving mastermind-and a major conspiracy. The culprit's identity, and the ironic way in which justice is finally served, surprises both Peroni and the reader in this beautifully written novel full of humor, terror and shocks right up to the last page.
(©Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Hardcover Publisher)
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