Meet Auntie Poldi, a sassy 60-something widow who retires to Sicily to live out her days imbibing on vino, savoring good food, and admiring a view of the sea. That is until the handsome handyman who is helping her renovate her villa goes missing and is found murdered. Poldi immerges as Sicily’s new amateur sleuth – but her snooping into the lives of the townsfolk proves irksome to the sexy police inspector in charge of the investigation. Giordano, a writer of both books and screenplays, has a knack for cinematic writing with snappy dialogue and page-turning plot twists. For fans of international mysteries set amid beautiful landscapes and filled with quirky, lovable characters.
“Introducing Auntie Poldi, a sixtyish amateur sleuth who stars as the heroine of Giordano's new series of delicious mysteries. She's sexy, outrageous, can't mind her own business, and has just retired to Sicily, where she intends to lay about and drink good wine for the rest of her days on the world's most fabulous island. Of course, things are soon stirred up by the murder of her hot young handyman, and Poldi becomes deeply involved. Great characters, fun plot, Italian charm - and what could be better reading for the chilly months than a novel set in sun-soaked Sicily? Don't miss what the Times Literary Supplement calls 'a masterful treat.'”
— Lisa Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS
Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List
“What a delicious treat! Auntie Poldi is a lascivious, boozy woman of a certain age who readers will follow anywhere, but especially into sun-soaked Sicily. She has a thing for handsome Italian cops and afternoon gin and tonics, and manages to solve the occasional murder along the way. Mario Giordano’s gorgeous, literary prose offers all the escapist pleasure of a novel like Beautiful Ruins, with an added bonus—there’s a sequel coming!”
— Amy Stewart, Eureka Books, Eureka, CA
“Break out the prosecco! There’s a new detective in town” (People Magazine). Now available in paperback, the delightfully sexy and bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily’s newest amateur sleuth
“To the ranks of amateur sleuths, from Miss Marple to Jessica Fletcher, welcome Auntie Poldi.” — Newsday
On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. But Sicily isn’t quite the tranquil island she thought it would be. When her handsome young handyman goes missing—and is discovered murdered—she can’t help but ask questions. Soon there’s an investigation, a smoldering police inspector, a romantic entanglement, one false lead after another, a rooftop showdown, and finally, of course, Poldi herself, slightly tousled but still perfectly poised. This “masterly treat” (Times Literary Supplement) will transport you to the rocky shores of Torre Archirafi, to a Sicily full of quirky characters, scorching days, and velvety nights, alongside a protagonist who’s as fiery as the Sicilian sun.
“Delightful.” — NPR, The Weekly Reader
“Delizioso!” — Adriana Trigiani, best-selling author of Kiss Carlo
About the Author
MARIO GIORDANO, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Munich. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, his first novel translated into English, was an Indie Next Pick, a Barnes &Noble Discover selection, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a Costco Staff Pick. He lives in Berlin.
John Brownjohn lives in Dorset in the UK. His work has won him critical acclaim and numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (three times), the PEN American Center's Goethe House Prize, and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for Marcel Beyer's The Karnau Tapes and Thomas Brussig's Heroes Like Us.
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER An Indie Next List Selection A Spring ’18 B&N Discover Pick A Costco Staff Pick An Amazon Best Book of March 2018 A New York Post Must Read A B&N Best New Fiction of March 2018 Pick A Washington Post "Beach Read That Will Bring You More Pleasure Than Guilt" A Hello Giggles “Book You Don’t Want to Miss”
“Break out the prosecco! There’s a new detective in town—and she’s 60, sexy, wise and utterly adorable.” —People, Book of the Week
“Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions has it all for hungry readers: hilarity, intrigue, the magnificent landscape of Sicily and food! Mario Giordano has created a world that spins in technicolor like a Sicilian carretto and, like the traditional donkey carts painted in an explosion of color, this novel is a celebration of the palette of Italian life and the Sicilian experience in its specificity, warmth and drama. Delizioso!”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Kiss Carlo
“There’s a new star in the mystery firmament, and her name is Auntie Poldi. Mario Giordano has created a character who will be the envy of every novelist, mystery and otherwise.”—Alan Bradley, author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
“A new detective is among us. Mario Giordano’s Auntie Poldi joins her peers Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano and Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Precious Ramotswe in winning our hearts. She’s a lusty, bold woman who dives into Sicilian life with gusto. I was unable to stop reading and cheering for this renegade. May further adventures ensue!”—Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
“To the ranks of amateur sleuths from Miss Marple to Jessica Fletcher, welcome Auntie Poldi — a 60-year-old German widow who has bought a villa on Sicily to drink wine and enjoy the sea view. Then her young handyman, Valentino, is found murdered, and she has a case on her hands.”—Newsday
"A masterly treat.”—Times Literary Supplement
"Delightful...Giordano has won me over and I am eagerly awaiting the second in the series."—The Weekly Reader, NPR
"Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano follows a woman from Munich back to her husband’s family village, Torre Archirafi, in Sicily. Auntie Poldi is 60 and wants to retire, but this is no sweet return: Isolde “Poldi” Oberreiter intends to drink herself to death, and sooner rather than later. Despite her malaise, Poldi is tugged back toward life by, yes, a murder. The handsome police detective investigating doesn’t hurt, either. Giordano keeps the tension in check with an anonymous narrator whose affection for his eccentric relation can’t be disguised."—Washington Post, "6 beach reads that will bring you more pleasure than guilt"
“As types of amateur sleuths go, the category of lusty Bavarian widow has been woefully underrepresented—until now…Fans of international mysteries or just those who fantasize about good wine and languorous meals on the Italian coast will devour this mystery debut. The son of Italian immigrants, Giordano has previously written general fiction, YA fiction, and screenplays. Let’s hope he sticks with Poldi for quite awhile.”—Booklist (starred review)
“This book is absolutely delightful. Reading it felt like a mini-vacation to Sicily, full of colorful characters and all the twists and turns I crave in a mystery...If you’re looking for a book to read on the beach, this one is perfect!”—BookRiot
“Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is absolutely enchanting, combining whimsy, mystery, sorrow and Sicilian hot blood, with a lusty, tart heroine who ‘[knows] a thing or two about good places, friendship and things that sustain us.’”—Shelf Awareness
“A lively, humorous portrait of Sicilian society and gastronomy.”—Times (London)
“Giordano's wit and his formidable heroine’s wisdom combine to make this debut a smash.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Funny, smart and, above all, atmospheric.”—Globe and Mail
“[A] winning debut . . . Wry, appreciative observations of Sicilian food, people, and history herald a series worth tracking.”—Publishers Weekly
“The whole book is alive with a tang of lemons to set the senses zinging. Refreshing.”—Spectator
“Poldi is flamboyant, earthy, and always forthright. . . The mystery is well-plotted and red herrings abound, [but] the true draw of the book is the Sicilian setting and the eccentric Auntie Poldi. Fans of quirky stories such as Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series may enjoy this amusing romp.”—Library Journal
“The most enchanting novel I’ve read in ages! Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is a lush, sexy, and slightly madcap romp, much like Auntie Poldi herself. She’s the aunt your mother warned you about—the one who never turns down a drink or a date with a dashing stranger, never mind the consequences. It’s an absolute delight to follow along on her adventures, which involve a missing statue, a handsome policeman, and—oh yes—a murder. Mario Giordano has a gift for eccentric storytelling, snappy dialogue, and sly wit, making this a tart and delectable treat that you’ll press on all your friends. I can’t wait for the next installment!”—Amy Stewart, author of Girl Waits With Gun
"Murder, She Wrote for the millennial set, Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is a hilarious story that will keep you on the edge of your beach chair this summer."—Modern Muse
"A sexy, zany romp."—Spot (Manila)
"In this light-hearted mystery, a Bavarian widow moves to Sicily and rediscovers her love of living...Big-hearted and funny, smart and escapist: it’s like taking your own Italian vacation. "—Modern Mrs. Darcy, "Summer Reading Guide"