The first installment in the Bar Lume Series. At the Bar Lume, in a small coastal resort near Livorno, between shots of espresso and hands of cards, four old-timers and Massimo the Barman, wile away the time chatting, arguing, and theorizing about the murder of a young woman in their town. The girl’s body was found in a dumpster bin on the edge of town. The victim’s now notoriously licentious lifestyle has everyone thinking that her death had something to do with the world of drug trafficking and dangerous sex that she inhabited. The prime suspects in the case are two of the girl’s nightlife associates. But out of love of gossip, the group of old friends at the Bar Lume begin to pull the case to pieces, forcing Massimo into the role of amateur sleuth. The four old-timers analyze the crime and the suspects, contextualizing both, and in the process put a comic spin on their often narrow-minded neighbors. From this “investigation,” in Malvadi’s lively and colorful prose, emerges a fascinating picture of life in a small town that, for all its faults, stubbornly resists the devastation of mindless global tourism.
Marco Malvaldi was born and lives in Pisa, where he obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the Normale University. His previous books include the Bar Lume series, featuring Massimo the Barman and the four elderly sleuths. He is the winner of both the Isola d’Elba Award and the Castiglioncello Prize for his crime novels.