Death in Florence

Christobel Kent's A Florentine revenge is, yet again, a crime novel by a non-Italian author set in Italy. With Venice fully covered by Donna Leon, and Rome by Iain Pears, Christobel Kent dips her toe into Florence, a city that she knows, and clearly loves.

It's not a bad crime story actually either. Celia Donnelly, a guide to the city, is busy organizing a tour for a high-flying couple, Lucas and Emma Marsh. Donnelly begins to suspect though that not all is happy in the Marsh's marriage, and when she discovers that Lucas Marsh is connected to a notorious unsolved child-killing that had shocked Florence 15 years earlier, she begins to suspect that this may not be the easiest of tours, but when the chief suspect is found dead life starts to get a whole lot more complicated....

The basic story is decent enough, there's some good characterisation, some likeable (and several very unlikeable) characters, and Florence glows. But the pace is slow, almost turgid in places, and the final pulling together of all the threads along with a rather unlikely romance, didn't really work for me. This would be a great holiday read - especially if you're heading for Florence. Just don't expect too much.


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