Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Authors: Mario Giordano and John Brownjohn (translator)
Release: March 6th 2018
I received a copy of Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions from Bookish First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Auntie Poldi is exactly the story of casual mystery I’m looking for when I need to read a book and unwind. It’s about a stubborn middle aged Bavarian woman who refuses to let anybody scare her away from finding the truth. It actually reminds me quite a lot of the sort of TV series I used to watch with my mom when I was growing up, so it’s really no surprise that I wanted to give this series a try.
First things first, the writing style for Auntie Poldi is a bit on the odd side. It is being written as if it was being penned by Poldi’s nephew (hence the title). It can be a little off-putting at times, and it frequently breaks the immersion. However, it does fight with the lighter fluffier tone of the series, and helps to separate the readers from the tragedy that occurs (this is a murder mystery, after all).
Aunt Poldi is a woman with spunk and tenacity, and her character does wonders to show that there are multiple levels of depression a person can face. Months ago Poldi had been content to slowly drink herself to death (after the loss of her husband), but now that she’s got a task to keep her mind going, she’s suddenly got something to live for. Like a dog with a bone, she won’t give up the chase, even when it calls for her to give up alcohol (well, mostly, and only so she can think clearly during ‘her case’). The fact that the murder caused an attractive hulk of a police officer to pay attention to her probably didn’t hurt either.
This story has a lot of quirks and personality to it. In a way it’s more of a character study than a murder mystery. It frequently takes a long time to get to the point, and it is very fond of excessive details and character back-stories and interactions. Still, it was a relaxing read, which is exactly what I was hoping to find in it.
As for the mystery itself, it’s a relatively predictable story, the final twists and turns being more or less what one would expect. In a way I was actually okay with that, since it allowed me to continue relaxing while I was reading.
This isn’t a groundbreaking story by any means, but it is perfect for a casual or comforting read. If you’re looking for a beach read full of personality, then I’d suggest taking a look at this one. It may just be worth your time.