Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #32 – Death of a Serpent by Susan Russo Anderson
So clearly we’ve entered the mystery portion of my Cannonball. This was yet another Kindle freebie (I feel the need to disclose that every time, sorry if it’s annoying) I picked up because it was billed as an “historical mystery.”
The story takes place in Sicily in the late 1800s. Prostitutes are being murdered, marked, and dumped back at the brothel. The madam/brothel owner goes way back with Serafina, a local midwife/renaissance woman. Serafina investigates the murders, as she apparently has before (there are other books, which I have not read).
The killer could be a local mafia don, an old lover of Serafina’s, or possibly an odd monk who has recently come to town. Serafina (like many of these lady detective stories) acts more like a modern woman than a woman of that time acted, at least as far as I know. Maybe women were always like we are. Regardless, she gets into a number of scrapes, puts herself and others in danger, all in the name of finding the murderer.
The story was fairly well researched, and fairly well written. There were a number of flaws with the writing and grammar, but I had originally chalked that up to a bad translation from Italian. Then I found out the author is American. It could also have been a bad scan for the Kindle, or just lack of editing. There are some good bones of a story here, and perhaps the author will work on her craft. Practice makes perfect, I hear.