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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Three-Card Monte

Three-Card Monte (Mystery)
“A Bar Lume Mystery”
By Marco Malvaldi
ISBN #978-1609452056
Europa Editions
168 Pages
Price $16.00
Rating 5-Stars

During an International Conference, A Japanese professor falls and hits his head, and dies. However, the autopsy shows he was given a medication that poisoned him, and his fall was not the actual cause of death. Messimo Viviani is catering the conference, but thinks nothing of it, until Inspector Vinicio Fusco calls him to the station for questioning, and he learns about the poison. Aldo, who owns the Boccacoio restaurant, his catering partner, is also called and tells the Bar Lume gang about the case. These include Messimo’s 83-year old grandfather, Ampelio Viviani, Gino Rimediotti, 74, and Pilade Del Tacco, 74, constant companions at the bar. As the old men discuss the murder, the Bar Lume waitress Tiziana Grazzelli redecorates the bar interior, and Messimo becomes an English translator as the police question the international visitors.

This is a character driven novel, with small attention paid to the mystery, yet the characters keep the narrative moving smoothly, and the interest high. The main character is Messimo, the Bar Lume owner and bartender, who must put up with his grandfather’s cohorts that dominate the bar every day, sitting at their favorite table discussing the subject de jour, and local gossip. Messimo tends to get personally involved in murder cases – this is the second in the series – giving the old gentlemen plenty to talk about. A fun series, despite the weak mystery this time around, and I highly recommend it to mystery lovers, especially Cozy Mystery fans.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

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