DAGGERS AND MEN'S SMILES
This is the first in a series from Canadian author Jill Downie and it's off to a fascinating start.
Take the setting. The English Channel Island of Guernsey. Then there are the investigators -- Detective Inspector Ed Moretti and Detective Constable Liz Falla, his new partner and we watch them build a working relationship as they solve the murders. That's right. Plural.
The other characters include the Marchesa Vannoni, transplanted from Italy, and an international cast of actors shooting a movie at the Marchesa's estate. Then there's the brassy British author of a bestselling novel upon which the movie is based. His gorgeous American wife, a former ballerina, adds some allure to the plot. And of course, there are the usual guys in the precinct.
The novel and therefore the movie, focus on an aristocratic Italian family at the end of World War II and some deeply buried secrets which of course, surface. The question for Moretti and Falla is, how much fact is there to the fiction? And could the Vannoni family be involved? And, how many more deaths before they find the truth...and the killer?
There's a good deal of historical fact woven into the story, along with a solid mystery and exploits in both Guernsey and Italy to please any armchair traveler. I look forward to reading the next installment in the Moretti & Falla mysteries.
Jill Downie is a compelling writer...as she should be, being the author of five historical novels, non-fiction, and plays. She's a welcome addition to the Canadian crime writing scene!