Novels

Set Fire To Sicily (A Marcello D’Estari novel)

by Jane Heritage

Marcello D’Estari, bastard son of a nobleman and a courtesan, is the most effective, most unmanageable and most amorous of the spies of the Venetian Republic. To safeguard its position as the greatest Mediterranean power, Venice needs intelligence, and to gather intelligence it needs spies and informers – courageous, reckless men who can pass unnoticed among peasants and courtiers alike, who can speak the polyglot dialects of the Mediterranean ports, who can befriend noblemen and seduce their wives, and who can, if necessary, kill. Marcello rarely enjoys the killing. Set Fire To Sicily is his first recorded mission.

The Night Falling

by Katherine Webb

Puglia, Italy, 1921. Leandro returns home now a rich man with a glamorous American wife, determined to make his mark. But how did he get so wealthy – and what haunts his outwardly exuberant wife? Boyd, quiet English architect, is hired to build Leandro’s dreams. But why is he so afraid of Leandro, and what really happened between them years before, in New York? Clare, Boyd’s diffident wife, is summoned to Puglia with her stepson. At first desperate to leave, she soon finds a compelling reason to stay. Ettore, starving, poor and grieving for his lost fiancée, is too proud to ask his Uncle Leandro for help. Until events conspire to force his hand. Tensions are high as poverty leads veterans of the Great War to the brink of rebellion. And under the burning sky, a reckless love and a violent enmity will bring brutal truths to light…

Cry Wolf: A Mafia thriller set in rural Italy

by Michael Gregorio

Sebastiano Cangio has just accepted his dream job as a park ranger in the stunning Sybilline Mountains National Park in central Italy; it’s a unique opportunity to study and live amongst the wild mountain wolves he loves so much. But when a series of devastating earthquakes rocks the region, the dream looks set to become a nightmare. With the area evacuated, the Mafia seize their chance to move in to pursue their own sinister agenda – and Sebastiano finds himself the only person in a position to stop them. As he embarks on a lone mission to protect the beautiful, unspoiled landscape and ensure the survival of the wolf pack, Sebastiano finds himself up against a menacing trail of corruption: a trail that leads all the way to the top.

The Tallest Tower: A Novel Set In Medieval Italy

by Kelvin Hughes

This is a story of ruthless ambition, of a passionate and forbidden love and, most of all, the story of the tallest tower ever built in the city of Bologna. A marriage is arranged between Fabio Richi and Giulietta Catalani and the families agree to build two towers, almost within touching distance, to represent the union. The wedding date is set for Christmas Day 1222 and so the race is on to get both towers completed in time. Bologna is a prosperous city state, its skyline cluttered with strange towers built by all the leading families. Signore Leonardo Richi decides that his tower will be the tallest and appoints the city’s leading architect to take control of the build. He also has plans to take over control of the City Council and has the help of his evil Protector, Massimo Marinelli. His main rival is his own brother Cardinale Pietro, the Bishop of Bologna. Bologna is suddenly sent into decline by a series of earthquakes and successive poor harvests. When the population is on the verge of starvation, the people look for a strong leader to help them survive and to restore the city to its former glory. Which of the Richi brothers will emerge to fill the power vacuum? Then, as her wedding approaches, Giulietta finds herself falling in love with Luca the son of the builder in charge of the Catalani Tower. How can she marry Fabio Richi when her heart belongs to another?

The Etruscan: a literary gothic tale set in 1922

By Linda Lappin

In this post-modern literary gothic novel, Harriet Sackett, a feminist photographer, travels to Italy to photograph Etruscan tombs for the Theosophical Society in 1922. Here she falls in love with a charismatic count, Federigo del Re, extraordinary in the tradition of the Conte de St. Germaine, who materializes and disappears into the eerie Etruscan landscape. Her well-bred cousins from Russell Square manage to save her from her fatal obsession by wiping out all evidence of his improbable existence. The story is told from the point of view of the Bloomsbury friends, whose own dark secrets are incidentally revealed as they read Harriet’s personal journal of the love affair in which Harriet stalks her phantasm-lover through a labyrinth of distorting mirrors. Is the Conte Federigo Del Re faithful; is he a real count, or even a real man; a fantasy or an Etruscan ghost? This shape-shifting Rochester will not be tracked down, unmasked or domesticated. The Etruscan has been hailed by Italian critics as a new classic in American writing about Italy.