Christobel Kent is an author who deserves to be better known. A Time of Mourning is her latest book and it features Sandro Cellini who appeared in A Florentine Revenge. He has now been 'retired' from the police and at his wife's urging has set up as a private investigator. His first client is the widow of a Jewish architect who apparently committed suicide by walking into the River Arno. But things are not as simple as they first appear.
On the same day, a student from one of Florence's many international schools of art goes missing and her mother asks Sandro to find out what has happened. When he finds a connection between his two cases his old spirit of enquiry is reawakened. Full of murky goings on and complex characters with mysterious motives, this is an excellent subtle and understated read. Florence is displayed in a guise unfamiliar to tourists as the action of the story takes place during a very rainy week in November. I enjoyed it and I hope the author is going to write more about Sandro Cellini who is far from being the traditional tough guy Italian cop and is more made in the mould of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti.