A vacation to Italy goes awry for an American couple in this literary debut. Minor league pitcher Scott Whittier has been put out to pasture after one disgraceful inning in the big leagues. Now he'd like to disappear for a while. So he and his wife, Holly -- a former Art History student -- travel to Bologna. There at a flea market they come across a painting which Holly suspects is by 19th-century artist John Frederick Kensett, and worth millions. Scott's quest to obtain the painting takes him to a murder mystery and a marital crisis in this humorous examination of greed, jealousy, Art, and the bel paese.
Plot: Fiore's novel is a wild, exuberant ride through a picturesque Italy, its plot offering as many twists and turns as a Bolognese street. Incorporating an art heist, a murder mystery, and an entertaining dose of marital strife, the book is difficult to put down and perfectly engrossing.
Prose: Agile prose and laugh-out-loud humor enliven the tale, which delights with its many original turns of phrase. Fiore's verbal dexterity and creative swagger bring freshness to every page.
Originality: Sympathetic characters, pitch-perfect dialogue, and clever problem solving bring a refreshing originality to this art heist/murder mystery story. Readers who enjoy these action-packed genres will find much to love in Fiore's inventive approach.
Character Development: The main characters, Scott and Holly, are sympathetic, fully realized, and frequently humorous. The secondary characters, often a bit archetypal, provide a fine foil to the story's flustered protagonists.
Blurb: An exuberant, wickedly funny mystery that delights from beginning to end.
Date Submitted: May 23, 2017