Naples, 1932. A week before Easter, springtime offers fragrant temptations to the men and women of Naples--but evil also lurks in the sweet-smelling spring air. At the high-class brothel in the center of town known as Paradiso, Viper, the most famous prostitute of all, is found dead after being suffocated with a pillow. Her last client swears that he left her alive and well. But when her next client arrived, he found her dead. Who killed her and why? Ricciardi must untangle a complex knot of greed, frustration, jealousy, and rancor in order to solve the riddle of Viper's death. As he does, he will discover an endless trail of conflicting emotions just beneath the surface of a city that lives on passion.De Giovanni's mysteries unfold with such sinuous ease that they seem to write themselves. They enchant, surprise, and keep readers enthralled. Commissario Ricciardi, with the dubious gift of being able to see and hear the last seconds in the lives of those who have suffered a violent death, is one of the most fascinating investigators to make his appearance in the world of international crime fiction. In Viper, the lustful and boisterous city of Naples has never been more seductive.
Maurizio de Giovanni lives and works in Naples. In 2005 he won a writing competition for unpublished authors with a short story set in the 1930s about Commissario Ricciardi, which was then turned into the first novel of a series. His books have been successfully translated into French, Spanish, and German and are now available in English.
Grover Gardner is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the "Best Voices of the Century" and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.
Antony Shugaar's recent translations include A Pimp's Notes by Giorgio Faletti, The Nun by Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Bandit Love by Massimo Carlotto, and Sandokan by Nanni Balestrini, for which he received an NEA translation fellowship. He lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia.