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 Crime Scene Italy – the top 12 gialli


It is a real treat to relax with a good crime novel set in an interesting location in Italy and over the years I have enjoyed some excellent books that have inspired me to visit the locations they feature.

For the purposes of my talk to members of the Nottingham branch of the Dante Alighieri Society on 13 May, 2015, I chose 12 novels where I believe the writer has made particularly good use of the setting.

So that members can try out these books for themselves, I am listing them here in reverse order:


12-River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi, which was published in English in 2010.


11-Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon, which was first published in 1992.


10-When in Rome by Ngaio Marsh, which was published in 1970.


9-The Big Story by Morris West, which was first published in 1957. 


8-A Florentine Death by Michele Giuttari, which was published in 2007.


7-Death in the High City by Val Culley, which was published in 2014.


6-Death in August by Marco Vichi, which was first published in Italian in 2002. 


5-A Funeral of Gondolas by Timothy Holme, which was published in 1981.


4-Cabal by Michael Dibdin, which was first published in 1992.


3-A Venetian Reckoning by Donna Leon, which was first published in 1995.


2-Death of a Dutchman by Magdalen Nabb, which was first published in 1982. 


1-The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri, which was first published in English in 2005.


For more book suggestions please visit


Thanks to everyone that came along to hear my talk, gave me such a good reception and asked such insightful questions.


I hope you enjoy the books as much as I did.


Grazie a tutti!


Val Culley










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