It’s a long story, but when we were first married Denise and I lived overseas in Italy, where she worked covering soccer for sports organizations like ESPN. We first lived in Rome, then moved to a small town an hour north. The countryside was exactly what the travel magazines depict: olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye could see, and quaint thousand-year-old villages filled with fascinating characters.
One day, as we were talking with one of our neighbors, he cautioned us about thinking we had landed in paradise. “The town isn’t exactly squeaky-clean,” he said. “Some of our kids have died of drug overdoses. Mostly heroin. That’s why we just got a new marshal. He’s supposed to clean up the town.”
In small towns of this size, the police function was performed by the carabinieri, Italy’s colorfully dressed paramilitary force. The word marshal in their tongue is maresciallo (MAH-ray-SHAH-lo).
Needless to say, our neighbor’s news came as a shock, but in due time I began imagining a story around these meager facts. The result is The Marshal of the Borgo, the book I’m releasing today. I set out to write a mystery novel, but things took a turn toward the weird and paranormal, just as they did with The Mesmerist. The result is a blend of two or three genres.The book is now available on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Smashwords. (Kobo coming soon.) I hope you enjoy it.
Here’s the pitch for the book:
THE MARSHAL OF THE BORGO: Matteo Scarpone is a man more sinned against than sinning. Once a cool-headed logician and the pride of Rome’s carabinieri, he’s devastated when disaster rocks his world. He’s a lost man: Beaten. Shaken. HAUNTED.
Shunned as an embarrassment, he is exiled to a tiny village in the sticks—a hamlet, a burg, a borgo. But in this land of vineyards and olive groves, life is far from idyllic. Murder, witchcraft and hate taint the soil once tread by the Etruscans. Now the young captain must unravel a series of murders that pit him against a cynical evil and force him to use a power that he has long denied.
The Marshal of the Borgo follows in the tradition of Italian mysteries by Magdalen Nabb, Andrea Camilleri, and Donna Leon—but with a powerful twist.
Part whodunit, part ghost story, The Marshal of the Borgo makes for a very unusual paranormal mystery by a recent Derringer Award finalist.
Italian detective Matteo Scarpone first appeared in a short story in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.