A Long Finish

A Long Finish

An Aurelio Zen Mystery

Book - 1998
Average Rating:
5
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After his adventures under sun-drenched Neapolitan skies in Cosi Fan Tutti , Aurelio Zen finds himself back in Rome, sneezing in a damp wine cellar and being given another unorthodox assignment: to release the jailed scion of an important wine-growing family who is accused of a brutal murder. Zen travels north to an Italy as outwardly serene as Naples was manic. Amid the quiet fields, autumnal skies and crumbling farmhouses of Piedmont, Zen must try to penetrate a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricably linked. Here secrets can last for generations, and have a finish as long and lingering as that of a good Barbaresco. Zen must also face up to mysteries from his own past, as well as grapple with the greed, envy, hatred and love that are the human components of any landscape.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 1998.
ISBN: 9780571270828
9780385259484
0385259484
9780375404290
0375404295
Branch Call Number: DIB
Characteristics: 261 pages ;,24 cm.

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t
tjdickey
Jun 02, 2017

Convoluted does not begin to describe the house of mirrors that this set of murders reveals in a small Italian wine village. "Everyone knows" what is what, leading to suspicions upon suspicions, and shifting loyalties and different explanations that will keep the reader doubting his own sense even of events that are "seen" firsthand. Complex and fruity, with an aftertaste of lingering spice.

m
MaryLey
Jul 14, 2015

Love Michael Dibdin's unusual mysteries with that great character, Aurelio Zen! The PBS Mystery series with Zen was a treat!
MEL

WVMLStaffPicks Nov 13, 2014

Aurelio Zen is dispatched to a small village in Piedmont, a rural bucolic setting amid notable vineyards. While enjoying heaping plates of pasta and truffles, and endless glasses of wine, he must solve a grisly murder. With his usual eccentricity he uncovers the shocking truth and once again baffles his superiors.

c
CB2295
Jan 10, 2012

This is #6 in a now-ended series of 11 books featuring an Italian character named Aurelio Zen. So by #6, the author should have learned how to write well. But no, this book has suitably complex plot but with not enough characters to keep up the suspense, since everyone is either murdered or is guilty or is clearly a strawman; characterization is sometimes good but more often it’s two-dimensional; there are untranslated Italian phrases thrown in to impress us and to add “flavour”; there’s a homosexual element that even a straight person can see is hopelessly full of clichés about being effete and dressing too carefully; at least one subplot is left hanging at the end and the denouement is too easy; and there are too many scene and time changes that aren’t well signposted.

k
kmoyer
Nov 08, 2011

Another dark and convoluted murder mystery featuring Aurelio on location in the fertile wine & truffle producing area of northern Italy around Turin & Milan. Initially sent to investigate the murder of a prominent vintner in the region, the bodies quickly begin to pile up. Colourful characters, lots of sleuthing, a few out-of-body experiences and every so often interspersed with Zen’s amusingly naïve and opinionated views about modern technology and anything non –Italian, delightfully rounded off with a suitably macabre ending. Having recently seen the BBC series, loosely adapted from Dibdin’s earliest Zen novels, I can easily picture this story unfolding on screen – here’s hoping it’s in the works.

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