Murder on the Vine

Soho Crime. (A Tuscan Mystery, Bk. 3). Sept. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781641293662. $27.95. M
Trinchieri’s third “Tuscan Mystery,” featuring Nico Doyle, a former NYPD detective who moved to his late wife’s hometown in Tuscany after her death. In the heart of Tuscan wine country, Nico has formed routines, has made friends, and occasionally helps Maresciallo (or “marshal”) Salvatore Perillo and the other Carabinieri (the gendarmerie of Italy) to investigate local murders. While having breakfast with Perillo in Gravigna, Nico learns that 80-year-old bartender Cesare Rinaldi went missing three days ago. Later, when Nico brings a canister of gasoline to his stranded friend Jimmy (the owner of the Gravigna café that Nico frequents), he’s shocked to find Cesare’s dead body in the trunk of Jimmy’s car. Nico knows that Jimmy isn’t a killer, but Maresciallo Perillo’s small team has only a few suspects in Cesare’s murder, and Jimmy is one of them—even more so when another murder suspect, the prime suspect, dies. The complicated investigation of Cesare’s death soon leads to the cold case of a seemingly accidental death and the discovery of an unrepentant killer.
VERDICT Fans of David P. Wagner’s Italian mysteries will appreciate the lush descriptions of food and wine in Trinchieri’s third atmospheric “Tuscan Mystery” (following The Bitter Taste of Murder). The complicated personal relationships (helpfully elucidated in the book’s list of characters) add to the enjoyment.
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