Hersilia Press publishes Italian crime fiction: both in translation and in original English, as long as the book has an Italian connection. Think of Aurelio Zen, Commissario Brunetti, Nic Costa, Commissario Montalbano, to name but a few.
Hersilia are offering four of their books as third prize in the Flashbang contest, including a brand new title publishing this summer. The four books are all very different, demonstrating the eclectic nature of Italian crime. The first, Inspector Cataldo’s Criminal Summer, is a classic detective story set in the summer heat of Modena, with lots of Sicilian food thrown in for good measure.
In Blood Sisters, the reluctant investigator is Anna Pavesi, a psychologist who’s approached by the well-heeled Benedetta Vitali. Benedetta asks Anna to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of her half-sister Patrizia and the subsequent disappearance of Patrizia’s body. Anna takes on the assignment and finds that Patrizia’s death may not have been a simple hit-and-run accident. The book is set in a foggy and wintry Milan, so a complete contrast with Inspector Cataldo.
I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni is set in 1930s Naples, during a particularly bitter winter. One of the world’s greatest tenors, Maestro Vezzi, is found brutally murdered in his dressing room at Naples’ famous San Carlo Theatre, the enigmatic and aloof Commissario Ricciardi is called in to investigate.
The fourth book is a classic of Italian crime fiction, A Private Venus by Giorgio Scerbanenco, and is the first in a series of four. The author was born in the Ukraine, a naturalised Italian and extremely prolific in genres ranging from SF to romance to crime fiction to noir, until his untimely death in 1969. His Duca Lamberti series is a masterpiece of gritty story and poignant prose.
Hersilia Press will also feature short stories by Italian and international authors, plus crime flash fiction, free to download from the site. The winning stories from the Flashbang contest will be published there, so make the most of the contest!