Mario Giordano

Books: Mystery

Auntie Poldi: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (2015/2016)

Auntie Poldi

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (2015/2016) translated by John Brownjohn

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian LionsTo clarify, this is a book published in Germany, about a Bavarian widow who retires to Sicily and is near her husband's family, and is told by the widow's nephew.

"Your Italian is pretty good."

"Apart from my accent, you mean? Thanks. I get by."

"When did you learn it?"

"Oh, over the years. My husband was a Sicilian."

"From this area?"  … 

"In a manner of speaking. He was born in Munich and only spoke Bavarian and Sicilian."

It was confusing to sort out initially.

Auntie Poldi–who was based upon the author's actual aunt, is rather a character.

Poldi's day always began with a revivifying Prosecco. Then came an espresso with a dash of brandy, followed by a slug of brandy without the espresso.

Auntie Poldi gets involved in a mystery when the young man who helps her with tasks around her house is murdered.

Parts of it felt familiar from years of reading Andrea Camilleri‘s Inspector Montalbano books.

The gulf between Italian regional dialects is far greater than in most countries, and Sicilian is more than a dialect. It is a guttural, almost Arabic-sounding mélange, the phonetic heritage of all the races that have ever occupied the island.

The mystery was interesting, and Auntie Poldi was fascinating (and if she hadn't been based on a real person it'd be hard to believe she was real).

I did however, have trouble figuring out the relationships between the characters in the beginning, and although the setting felt somewhat familiar the story-telling and way things were told was not.

It wasn't bad, just different from what I am used to.

Publisher: Mariner Books

Rating: 7.5/10