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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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

By My Hand

By My Hand: A Commissario Ricciardi Mystery.

As 1930s Naples prepares for its holiday celebrations, terrible poverty and blinding desperation lurks behind the façade of order and happiness imposed by the fascist regime.

In a luxurious beachfront apartment lie in the bodies of the fascist militia officer and his wife. A statuette of the patron saint of workers lies in pieces on the floor beside them. At the scene of the crime, Commissario Ricciardi, who possesses the dubious gift of being able to see and hear the last seconds of the lives of those who have suffered violent deaths, listens to the enigmatic final words of the fated couple. Accompanied by his faithful partner, Brigadier Raffaele Maione, the Commissario will have to trace a wide and frenetic arc through the streets of Naples in order to uncover the truth behind the grisly murder.

By My Hand (Mystery)
By Maurizio de Giovanni
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609652063
Price $17.00
351 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Well Written, Gritty, And Emotionally Moving.”

Commissario Ricciardi and Brigadier Marion, detectives of the Mobile Patrol in Naples of 1931, are called in to investigate the murders of a Port captain, Emanuele Garofalo and his wife, Costanza in their expensive apartment. It’s the week before Christmas, and the room is bloody. The vicious murders were committed with a knife. The investigation reveals that Captain Garofalo was in charge of the fishing licensing, and may have been demanding payment from fisherman to keep working their nets. These are people who are already living in poverty, and forcing them to pay more leaves them without money for food and medicine. Also, Garofalo is a member of the Legion, a Fascist group that overseas the security of the Port.

As everyone prepares for Christmas, the gruesome investigation leads the investigators to homes of poor fishermen who hated the captain and wanted him dead. Any of them could be suspects, yet they work hard to feed their families, and brag that they could have killed him. And someone must go to jail for the murders. Will it tear a family apart, or lead somewhere else?

This is the fifth story in the Commassario Ricciardi mysteries and one of the best crime series coming out of Europe, and Maurizio de Giovanni one of the best authors from Italy I’ve ever read. There’s hint that this may be the last book in the series, but I hope not. The author weaves a twisting tale of mystery set in Fascist Naples of the 1930s. Commassario Ricciardi is cursed with second sight; he sees the corpse still in place long after it has been removed, and hears their last words spoken before death. Words that are possible clues, but nothing that identifies their murderer. Still he’s haunted by their ghosts, and driven to find their killers. There is little or no humor in these stories, and strong emotion pulls at the readers to turn the pages till the case is solved, and a murderer in custody. Highly recommended to mystery fans, and lovers of good story telling.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

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