Tag: italy

Murder Is in the Air! Top Picks: October Crime and Thrillers

Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.

Today, we’ll be recommending five of the best fear-inducing Crime and Thrillers that’ll get you in the true October spirit with their scariest horrors, from haunted houses to serial killers.



5-The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James


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Image VIa peterjames


To start off this week’s top picks we are going to talk about the author of bestsellers such as the Roy Grace Books and Match Up, Peter James, who is bringing us a sequel to his spine-chilling The Secret of Cold Hill September 9th.


The Secret of Cold Hill (Cold Hill Ghost Stories Book 2) by [James, Peter]
Image Via Amazon

The infamous Cold Hill House has been demolished to make way for a new housing estate, and now an elderly couple has moved into the new estate. But no one who moves into Cold Hill reaches their fortieth birthday, and this couple’s days are numbered.

Publisher’s Weekly notes that “[a]fter an opening scene of gore, the novel takes time to build to its final unavoidable and understated tragedies” and we here at Bookstr warn you that this novel builds and builds and you’ll forget the chilling conclusion, even though you may want to.


4-The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri


Andrea Camilleri

Image Via Segmento


A September 19th release from Andrea Camilleri, this Italian author has written, among many others, the infamous Montalbano mystery series. The Montalbano series, set in nineteenth-century Sicily, has been made into the critical darling Italian TV series.


The Other End of the Line (An Inspector Montalbano Mystery Book 24) by [Camilleri, Andrea]
Image Via Amazon


His newest book follows Inspector Montalbano who, among many others, assist the wave of refugees coming in along the Sicilian coast, but while on duty, traged strikes the docks when Elena Biasini, a charming master seamstress, is found brutally slain.

Now Inspector Montalbano delves into the world of garments, discovering how to weave the loose threads of this case together.

As usual, Camilleri delivers an excellent mystery with a rich plot, made all the more intense by the fact that the aging Montalbano growing age is starting to show. A deeply satisfying police procedural, as well as a feast of satire and playful nonsense, this novel is not only a commentary of our times, but also an astounding feat considering Camilleri was blind when he wrote this book with his assistant.


3-Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo


Leigh Bardugo
Image Via Book Riot


Leigh Bardugo is the creator of the Grishaverse—a literary universe that consists of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—and is the author of Wonder Woman: Warbringer.

Her newest novel is much anticipated and, thanks to the wonder of time (it came out October 8th!), is already out!

But what’s the book about?


Ninth House by [Bardugo, Leigh]
Image Via Amazon


Raised in Los Angeles by a hippie mom, Galaxy “Alex” Stern dropped out of school early and entered a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse.

By age twenty, Alex is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Now on her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance to rebuild her life and attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride.

What’s the catch?

Well, Alex is tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies and she finds herself in a world of occult magic and…death!

A thrilling ride, this novel has gotten praises from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, who said that, “Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years, because it’s about real people. Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story―full of shocks and twists―is impossible to put down.”



2-The Guardians by John Grisham


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Image Via NPR


A lawyer for years, John Grisham became an author and his name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller. So how is this October 15th release different from his other novels? Well…


The Guardians: A Novel by [Grisham, John]
Image Via Amazon


Twenty-two years ago Quincy Miller, a young black man, was arrested for the shooting of young lawyer Keith Russo. For the two decades, Quincy has maintained his innocence. Desperate, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.

Cullen Post takes the case but soon discovers there are people who do not want Quincy exonerated. They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought.

Gripping, exciting, this book may prove to be one of Grisham’s most thrilling, most heart-pounding novel.



1-Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand


Elizabeth Hand

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A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Elizabeth Hand has written Winterlong, Waking the Moon (Tiptree and Mythopoeic Award-Winner), and, among many others, Glimmering. An astounding writer, Elizabeth Hand brings us this October 15th release.


Curious Toys by [Hand, Elizabeth]
Image Via Amazon


In the summer of 1915, Pin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the Chicago’s Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble.

She finds it, discovering a ruthless killer who uses the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to conduct his crimes. Witnessing him enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and emerging alone, Pin will be led to iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man. She’ll have to work with this lunatic to navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer who lurks in the shadow.

Beyond your run-of-the-mill thriller, Kirkus Reviews perfectly notes how “Pin is an engaging, courageous heroine, and her musings on gender identity are both poignant and relevant,” and the novel itself is “Richly imaginative and psychologically complex.”




Featured Image Via Wmra, Book Riot, and Amazon

Andrea Camilleri, Creator of Inspector Montalbano, Dies at 93

Sad news for fans of detective literature. Andrea Camilleri, one of Italy’s most popular authors, has passed away at ninety-three. Camilleri was the creator of Inspector Montalbano, a detective of Sicilian descent who solves cases in his native country of Italy. The series has been noted for its immense popularity, running over two dozen novels for many years, translated in over thirty countries. The series has proven a bestseller, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. The series won Camilleri the International Dagger award, an award for the best Crime Novel of the Year.


Image Via BBC 4 


According to The Guardian  Andrea Camilleri went into cardiac arrest in June and was in poor health in the hospital. He passed away under the care of doctors in Rome, pronounced with heart failure after his passing. Camilleri’s books were known for their extensive political commentary, Camilleri not shying away from addressing current, often controversial topics in his detective stories. His targets have varied far and wide, from the mafia and the Vatican to political figures such as Silvio Berlusconi and George W. Bush. On the mafia specifically, he was quote as saying:


“I believe that writing about mafiosi often makes heroes out of them. I’m thinking of The Godfather, where Marlon Brando’s superb performance distracts us from the realisation that he also commissioned murders. And this is a gift that I have no intention offering to the mafia.”


The Montalbano novels were adapted into a highly successful television series of the same name. The series has been running since 1999 and has also generated controversy for its controversial political commentary, such as recently with its pro-migrant messages.

The legacy of the detective novels will live on, with the series incredibly popular and inspiring dozens of Italian authors to follow in Andrea Camilleri’s footsteps.



Featured Image Via BBC 

A Library On Wheels Is Helping Children In Italy Read More

It can be hard for some kids to get access to books to read. But one man in Italy may have found a solution to this problem.


According to the BBC, Retired schoolteacher Antonio La Cava has created the Bibliomotocarro, a three-wheeled van that also functions as a mobile library. He uses his van to travel to remote villages in Basilicata, Italy to help young children learn the joys of reading.


La Cava stated that he believes fostering a growing interest in reading is important for children.


“Carrying out such action has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning.”


La Cava hopes that the more attention is Bibliomotocarro gets in the news, the more younger people will be encouraged to read.


You can read more about the van and its programs here.


Featured Image Via La Proposta News

Books Set in Italy

5 Books My Trip to Italy Inspired Me to Read

It was only a couple of days ago that I arrived back from an amazing three week trip in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It lasted for twenty-one days, but on the first day I stepped off the plane I was in love. The rolling hills dotted with Cypress trees, the crowds of effortlessly attractive people, and the food made with such care and love. I was in awe that a place like this could exist and I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes! But of course, the book nerd in me needed to take it a bit further.


I’ve been inspired by all that was around me and now I’m on the hunt for a good book to cure my post-holiday blues. Preferably, one set in Italy. Here are five books that might be my next read and maybe yours too.




1. Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman



 Image Via Amazon


We’ve reported on it, we love it, and we can’t get enough of it. Call Me By Your Name follows the slow blossoming then rapid romance between a teen and the University student who stays at his family’s summer home in Italy. The two young men are overcome with feelings and desire with no regard for the consequences of their love. A true love story.




2. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim



 Image Via Amazon


Here we have four different women,yearning to escape the rain and clouds of London and  make it to the warm, golden sun of the Italian coast. Together they decide to book a trip to live in a medieval Castle right in the heart of the Mediterranean. For the few weeks they’re there changes, romance, and life lessons occur in the warmth of springtime. For a story of rediscovery, this is it.
3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante



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In the 1950s in a poor village on the outskirts of Naples, two best friends are trying to live through post-war Italy. They begin life in their beautiful village with their families, then the novel follows them over the span of 60 years. From love, to marriage, to becoming wives and mothers, these two women remain true to their winding paths and strong friendship.



4. The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant



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Alessandra Cecchi is only fifteen-years-old when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter in their home to design their palazzo walls in Florence. With the young man’s talent, spirit, and mind, she begins to fall in love, overcome with his abilities. However, her hopes are shattered when her father arranges for her to marry a much older and wealthier man. With the turbulence of a city divided with art, religion, and violence, her love is is not always easy. But her feelings for both men grow as she attempts to understand the passionate love for the young artist. Love, art, and history in Florence are the central focus.





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A sweet true story whose movie I love so much, this journey has everything you could want. Frances Mayes, a published poet and travel writer as well as gourmet cook, decided to take a leap in her life one day. After flying to the breathtaking Tuscany to purchase the abandoned Bramasole villa, we follow her story of fixing it up and rebuilding her own life someplace new. From the recipes inside to the push to change your life, Mayes’s story is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.



Featured Image Via Amazon