Wednesday, July 30, 2014

City of Devils by Diana Bretherick

From the Back Cover

The brightest mind in early criminology meets the darkest killer, in this debut mystery set in the heady, cultivated world of nineteenth century Turin.

Turin, Italy 1887. When James Murray, a young Scottish doctor fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind, travels to the vibrant city of Turin, it is to study with Cesare Lombroso, the world-renowned criminologist. But just hours after his introduction to the unconventional Lombroso, the discovery of a horrifically mutilated body in the nearby Piazza Statuto—and a note that appears to implicate the celebrated criminologist himself—changes everything.

With the help of his fellow apprentice, Ottolenghi; a local investigator, Tullio; and Lombroso’s beautiful but enigmatic housekeeper, Sofia; Murray must put his learning to the test and endeavor to understand the mind of a malevolent serial killer, if he is to stop the rapidly escalating bloodbath and clear the name of his mentor.

Have Lombroso’s many enemies attempted to frame him? Are the notes an accusation or a challenge? And will Lombroso’s own influential theories about criminal behavior hold the keys to Murray catching a cunning and ruthless killer?


Set in 1887, the City of Devils’ protagonist is based on a real historic person named Cesare Lombroso who founded a bizarre museum of bizarre human oddities. The story takes place in the beautiful city of Torino (Turin). When a body is found at the foot of a statue, all clues point to Lobroso as the culprit, and this whodunit begins. 

Author, Diana Bretherick, won the 2012 Good Housekeeping new novel award with this story. The author’s style is engaging and very descriptive. The novel is a bit elongated, but it keeps the reader captivated and guessing to the very end. There were plenty of secrets and clues and red herrings, as well as great characters and a mild love story weaved into the plot.

For those who love mysteries with a bit of the odd and unusual in exotic settings, then this is the novel for you. A very nice debut novel for this author!

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