Barbara, and Stone’s old NYPD partner,
Dino Bachetti, now chief of detectives.
This installment goes down as smoothly as
a glass of Knob Creek. Author tour. Agent:
Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)
City of Devils
Diana Bretherick. Pegasus Crime (Norton,
dist.), $25.95 (464p) ISBN 978-1-60598-577-0
In 1887, Scottish doctor James Murray,
the hero of British author Bretherick’s intricate debut, travels to Turin, Italy, to
study under Cesare Lombroso (1835–
1909), a leader in the nascent field of
criminal anthropology. Soon after Murray’s
arrival, a mutilated corpse is discovered in
the Piazza Statuto. On the body, written
in blood, is a note that reads: “A Tribute
to Lombroso.” When the police believe
Lombroso may be implicated and he declines to defend himself, Murray and a colleague mount their own investigation.
Relatives of the criminals Lombroso’s the-ories have helped convict are likely suspects as similar crimes continue. So are rivals eager to discredit him, all in town for
his annual symposium—including Walter
Horton, a sinister American alienist.
Meanwhile, Murray struggles to hide a
family secret, as well as his attraction to
Sofia, Lombroso’s alluring housekeeper.
Vivid evocations of Turin and the scientific milieu of the day balance the inept detective work. Agent: Luigi Bonomi, Luigi
Bonomi Associates (U.K.). (July)
Now and in the Hour of Our Death
Patrick Taylor. Forge, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-
The Irish Troubles of the 1970s and
’80s provide the background for Taylor’s
suspenseful sequel to 2013’s Pray for Us
Sinners. In 1983, Davy McCutcheon has
served nine years of a 40-year sentence for
arms possession and the murder of a British soldier during a raid on a Northern
Ireland farmhouse where IRA soldiers
were hiding—a raid that thwarted a plot
to assassinate the British prime minister.
Davy still dreams of his former lover, Fiona Kavanagh, who has built a new life for
herself in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Davy’s closest friend, Jimmy Ferguson,
who has also settled in Vancouver, takes
Fiona’s photo during a chance meeting
and sends it to Davy. On seeing the photo,
Davy decides to participate in an IRA-led
How did you become an expert on
I’m Brazilian by birth. I moved to
France after college; it was supposed
to be for six months,
but I stayed for 30
years. I was a management consultant
banker. A lot of business takes place in
restaurants. If you
call Joe Shmo of
XYZ Co. to talk, the
formula is to invite
him to a three-star
restaurant. From the
banker’s point of
view, the more lavish
the meal, the better. And every
Frenchman knows that the wine
Do you think people are more
knowledgeable about food than they
used to be?
Absolutely. French food is hidebound
by tradition, and the more interesting food is in New York these days.
For decades America was “foodless.”
Now it’s becoming the food capital
of the world.
Which came first for you, the crime
or the menu?
The crime came first. There really is
a Capucine, or at least a model for
her. I had lunch with a woman who
worked for a large company that has
a private detective force. I saw how
she was prepared to “move in” when
something happened at an event.
And I thought it would be fun to
write a book exploring such a char-
How do you keep the characters in a
There’s a trick to writing stock figure books.
First off, nobody really
evolves. Secondly, in
each book certain char-
acters must appear and
behave the way readers
expect them to. That
conditions the plot. It’s
very difficult to make
characters evolve, and
that boxes you in. The
genius of Agatha
Christie is that Miss
Marple is always inter-
esting. The mystery market is almost
a market of addicts. Readers have
certain expectations that you as an
author feel obliged to meet.
What’s next for Capucine?
In addition to being interested in
food, I talk politics a lot. In book #6,
she will get promoted and move closer to the world of politics. She’ll also
have children. And her husband will
have trouble coping with the evolution. I’m planning on continuing for
12 books. We’ll see an older Capucine who is a mother.
Do you cook meals like the ones Capucine and Alexandre eat?
My wife and I love to make meals
like those in the book, but cooking is
not easy. We succeed at some hard
things. But we’ve never been able to
make fries as good as McDonald’s.
PW Talks with Alexander Campion
Death on the Menu
Food and wine mix with crime in Campion’s Murder on the Mediterra-
nean (Reviews, Apr. 21; pub month, Aug.), his fifth novel featuring
French policewoman Capucine le Tellier and her epicurean husband,
Alexandre de Huguelet.