“October is one of the loveliest months in Sicily. It’s when summer opens its fist again, letting a little breeze into the house and allowing you to breathe again; when the light becomes as mellow as my Aunt Caterina’s limoncello and you take a sweater along in the evenings, just to be on the safe side."
Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna is the second 361 page novel in Mario Giordano's series, published in 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Who should read this?
This novel is an ideal read for anyone who enjoys humor interlaced with elements of mystery, romance, and action.
Also by this author:
Auntie Poldi is on the case once again! Her nephew has come to visit just in time to listen to her solve a new and daunting case. A fortune teller loses her life and seems to have been mixed in with the wrong crowds, but who would be responsible for this death occurring on the intriguing, new vineyard in Etna? While her policeman lover continuously works to keep Poldi off the case, she is sneaking around to gather her own evidence and lead the cops towards the culprit at hand. Through a series of dead ends, drinking spells, lover spats, and incredibly dangerous rendezvous, Poldi is stopping at nothing to find the truth.
This novel follows up Giordano's quirky, comical style exhibited in his writing throughout his first book in the Auntie Poldi series. Its characters are humorous and display some ridiculous behaviors in both serious and light situations, allowing readers a chance to fully relax and become enthralled by the Italian mystery. The setting is described well and leaves the reader longing to be on the Italian shores and longing to walk through the vineyards of Etna. There is enough content to laugh along with from start to finish.
The plot started off very promisingly and ends in a fairly satisfactory way. I deeply enjoyed Poldi's conversations with death and the several intense situations she finds herself in. However, there were moments when it felt like the plot would drag by between major points, carried by unnecessary details which prolonged what the reader wanted rather than built up the tension and intrigue. Overall the plot was interesting and the resolution overall was a decent one. The downside of this resolution was that it felt a little sloppy and unrealistic. It didn't seem possible to spiral so much and get resolved so cleanly in such a small period of time.
Compared to Giordano's first novel, this was not quite up to par. It was a fun read, but took way too long to keep my interest and left me feeling okay rather than satisfied and wanting more. Will I read more? Definitely. I want to see Auntie Poldi back at work once more-- every mystery is different, so maybe this just wasn't my fit. I'd be happy to see what trouble she stirs up next!