Monday, December 6, 2021

Review: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano


This read for Bettendorf Public Library's Mystery Book Club presented me with two obstacles right from the beginning. Chapter one starts with an italicized summary of what to expect within the first eighteen pages. It’s pertinent information, but was it necessary? I’ve only run across this technique once before and was not impressed with it at the time. And what is it called? Certainly not an epigram, where a pithy saying or a snippet of poetry can entice a certain mood. I looked up definitions of foreshadowing and that came closer, I think, to how the author used the plot device to build anticipation. It must have worked on me because I didn’t quit reading.


My second obstacle, the nephew’s role as narrator. It was annoying at times to have Poldi’s dialog, her seemingly smooth narration of important events, interrupted by the junior novelist whining over his unstructured story and incomplete life. I felt it as an intrusion and not helpful for the present story. It was more of an aid for delivering historical background on Poldi and the family.


I did not take the time to look up all the food and beverages mentioned. That’s my loss. However, I can appreciate how the author portrayed and developed the local character of the place and the people.


I was not able to guess the villain, too many worthy suspects. And just when the ending felt like it was being overly drawn out, it was saved in a most unexpected way. At least for this tourist who hasn’t been to Sicily, yet.


It was a good choice for the Mystery Book Club. I might look for the next installment of Auntie Poldi.

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