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Monday, 5 March 2012

Spellbinding & Intriguing Susan Livinstone Reviews Death of a Serpent

Today, Famous Five Plus Reviewer, Susan Livingstone reviews Death of a Serpent by Susan Russo Anderson, describes as spellbinding and intriguing.

Swept Away by a Serpent
"When the police do nothing to solve the murders of three prostitutes knifed to death in 1866 Sicily, a struggling widow unmasks the killer, but not before uncovering burdensome truths of her own.

It is six years after Unification and Sicily is in chaos. Bandits rule the hills. Waves of cholera kill thousands. The mafia begins its reign of organized terror, raping a population squeezed by conscription, crippling taxes, and corrupt officials.

At a high-class house near Palermo, three prostitutes have been knifed to death, their foreheads slashed with a strange mark, their bodies dumped on the madam’s doorstep. When the chief inspector does little to solve the case, the madam summons her lifelong friend and asks her to catch the killer.

A forty-something midwife with seven children and diminishing funds, Serafina decides she must help her friend. She plunges into the investigation, gathering evidence, following leads. She meets with relatives and friends of the deceased and discovers a thread common to all three victims.

But when a fourth victim is strangled, Serafina’s hopes for a quick resolution are dashed. Her emotional low is short-lived, however. In a defiant meeting with the don, she makes an important discovery. Convinced of the murderer’s identity, she conceives a daring plan and, with the help of her daughter, unmasks the killer."-from

From the word "go" Death of a Serpent by Susan Russo Anderson sweeps away the reader to 19th century Italy.  I was spellbound by the intrigue and the courage of Serafina as she plunged head first into this mystery.  The descriptions of the surrounding characters, the settings and the action left me feeling as if I was there.  I love when a book can carry me away like that.  Susan, you did a wonderful job of weaving the story together.  You kept me guessing until the very end.  That's hard to do with me.  Thank you so much for allowing me to read and review your book.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a mystery.  (I told my teacher about this book and she bought it.  She hasn't read it yet, but said she can't wait to dig in.)

Buy this book.  It's a fabulous read.

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  1. This is on my list of books to be read. It certainly looks like one to sweep you away on a tide of action to another place and another time - and possibly make you feel lucky not to actually be there! Looking forward to it.

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  3. I too have this on my list of books to be read. It's nestling cosily inside my Kindle and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  4. Thanks to both of you! I'm totally flattered.

  5. And a very special thanks to Susan Livingstone for such a fabulous review!

  6. It was my pleasure, Susan. It was a fabulous book.