Next – Guarnaccia #4

Death in Springtime

by Magdalen Nabb

Marshal Guarnaccia #3


Set in Florence, Italy

© 1983 Soho Crime

Two foreign girls are abducted from a Florence piazza in broad daylight.The unusual March snowfall has distracted everyone, even Marshal Guarnaccia, who is unsure of what he has actually witnessed. One of the girls turns up in a village in the Chianti, claiming the kidnappers have released her to propose a ransom for the other victim. But the marshal thinks she’s lying. Italian law forbids paying ransom to criminals, and the marshal must find the second girl before her kidnappers decide to end her life.
(Soho Crime)

Introduction by Georges Simenon

Dear friend and fellow author,
What a pleasure it is to wander with you through the streets of Florence, with their carabinieri, working people, trattorie, even their noisy tourists. It is all so alive: its sounds audible, its smells as perceptible as the light morning mist above the Arno’s swift current; and then up into the foothills, where the Sardinian shepherds, their traditions and the almost unchanged rhythm of their lifestyle, are just as skilfully portrayed. What wouldn’t one give to taste one of their ricotta cheeses!
You have managed to absorb it all and to depict it vividly, whether it is the various ranks of the carabinieri, and of course the ineffable Substitute Prosecutor, or the trattorie in the early morning hours. There is never a false note. You even capture that shimmer in the air which is so peculiar to this city and to the still untamed countryside close at hand.
This is a novel to be savoured, even more than its two predecessors. It is the first time I have seen the theme of kidnapping treated so simply and so plausibly. Although the cast of characters is large, they are so well etched in a few words that their comings and goings are easily followed.
Bravissimo! You have more than fulfilled your promise.

Georges Simenon
Lausanne, April 1983

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