by Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl)
It's true. Murder is so Italian. POWER! REVENGE! BETRAYAL! It goes
right back to those steps of the Senate, when Brutus asks his good
friend Caesar for a light, and then fills him full of bronze.
it's not surprising that the Italian tradition of writing about murder
is first rate. I'll bet you've already heard of Donna Leon. She writes
very good stuff set in Venice for the English market. But do you know
who is a superstar in his own country?
My favourite writer: Andrea Camilleri
Set in Sicily, the Montalbano
series is about the best thing out there, on paper or on television.
Inspector Montalbano is a fictional hero in Italy, and a wonderful
character on the screen. His supporting cast is delightful. This is
not grim and gritty fare like Scandi-noir. (Okay, I crossed out the
word 'dismal'. You caught me.) Nope - Montalbano is truly fun, clever,
witty and brilliant. And oh, the Sicilian scenery. And the food! The
television adaptation is now playing on MHz, the European Mystery
channel, now available in the US and Canada for the same price as
Netflix. If you are a mystery fan, you're crazy not to subscribe to
Other Italian series on MHZ (in Italian with English subtitles)
Yes, you heard that right. The story is: Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin
leave New York to go live in Italy for their own safety in the 1950s.
So...an Italian production where Wolfe and Archie are known as
Americans, and believe it or not, it rocks. You'll be believing Goodwin
is the real thing from the books - he's perfect. Yes, it's different
from the North American version. But gorgeous. The production values
and attention to detail are amazing.
Inspector Manara: Regarded as a 'poor man's Montalbano' (not my words) Inspector Manara
is very attractive, but not quite as charming. They made him a player,
which lessens his appeal in my books. Still, it fills the gap when
you've gone through all seasons of Montalbano.
This delightful series is very different from most crime shows.
Imagine Father Brown with a wonderful smile, heart full of gold, and
ride-um cowboy physique. Yes, the star of this show is a handsome
former Spaghetti Western cowboy you may recognize from earlier films.
He makes a terrific priest and the cast of quirky characters around him
are, to a word, lovable. The Carabinieri Capitano and Marshall are my
personal favourites. Heaps of fun, and the series is in it's 10th
season, so lots to watch. The perfect show before bed, when you want to
go to sleep with a smile.
Hold your hat for a unique series that takes one back to the late
1940s. WW11 is still haunting the inhabitants of this northern Italian
city. Nardone is a man with integrity and grit, in a world where the
bad guys often win and run things. This is a more serious show, done
with an interesting voice-over by a journalist following the actions of
Nardone. Great period piece.
Murder at BarLume:
Truly an original show with Massimo as the attractive bar owner trying
to keep control of four geriatric pensioners who would try anyone's
sanity (honestly, you have to see it to believe it.) Murder, of course,
is on the bar menu, and Massimo solves each crime ahead of the Germanic
female detective. Great fun.
Obviously, if you watch
this list, you will get a good peek into my personality. But take it
from me: NO one does humour like the Italians.
Says she, flying back to Palermo as soon as possible.
Like humorous Italian stories? The Derringer and Arthur Ellis award-winning Goddaughter series is about a mob goddaughter who doesn't want to be one. Too bad she keeps getting dragged back to bail the family out. Here's the latest loopy caper, which is a finalist for the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak award...