Kazabo Publishing Releases Augusto De Angelis’s Classic “Whydunit” Death in a Bookstore on December 2nd

Dec 02, 2019 128

BY: Chiara Giacobbe

Kazabo Publishing (Kazabo.com) is publishing Death in a Bookstore by Augusto De Angelis on December 2nd, 2019. Originally published as Sei donne e un libro in 1936, it is appearing in English for the first time. Augusto De Angelis was the best selling Italian mystery author of his time and is recognized as the father of Italian crime fiction. Not only are his novels still widely read in Italy, they have been the basis for two Italian television series.

De Angelis’s signature creation, Inspector De Vincenzi, has been called “the first true Italian detective.” While De Vincenzi sifts clues and applies rigorous logic, his specialty is getting inside the heads of his suspects in a distinctive style that has come to be called a “Whydunit.”

In the words of Inspector De Vincenzi’s boss, the Police Superintendent of Milan, “You disregard evidence . . . appearances . . . earlier crimes. You disregard motives. You observe people, question them, examine them, judge them with your psychological method and then set them free, having decided that they cannot be guilty, because they lack the moral, intellectual, temperamental, or emotional capacity to commit a murder, this murder . . . Where will we end up, De Vincenzi? Your obsession with the psychology of murder is madness!”

Death in a Bookstore is one of De Angelis’s most popular and interesting works. Inspector De Vincenzi is summoned to a bookstore on Via Corridoni, where the body of Senator Magni had been found by the clerk when he arrived that morning. The Senator has been shot twice in the head and the only clue is a missing copy of a rare book, La Zaffetta, that’s been taken from the room where the Senator lies dead. Inspector De Vincenzi has eight days to either solve the crime or hand in his resignation. His investigation takes him from the villas of the wealthy to the depths of the occult, surrounded by an engaging and vivid cast of characters, each with their own secrets. There was more to the respected Senator than met the eye and more than one person who would have welcomed the Senator’s demise.

In addition to being an author, Augusto De Angelis was also a highly-respected journalist and it shows in his loving attention to the details of Milan as he knew it. The city of Milan has changed surprisingly little over the past 80 years and many of the places he describes – including the cafés – still exist and are exactly as they were 80 years ago. Even individual apartment buildings are recognizable. It is a moving, almost eerie, experience, to use Google Street View to step out of police headquarters and walk the streets of 1930s Milan with Inspector De Vincenzi at your shoulder. Death in a Bookstore also features a forward, written by the author’s grandson, Joshua Sinclair, describing De Angelis’s place in Italian literary history and how he was beaten to death by fascists for opposing the regime in 1944. Mr. Sinclair, who has an extraordinary artistic pedigree, being the
grandson of both Upton Sinclair and Augusto De Angelis, is himself an accomplished author and film director as well as a medical doctor and expert in tropical diseases.

For more information and for review copies, please contact Chiara Giacobbe, chiarag@kazabo.com

 

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