Rick Montoya, professional translator moonlights as a sleuth in this mystery set in the Italian town of Bassano.
The story opens with the culmination of an art seminar. The seminar has been attended by art experts from around the world. One of these is called Fortuna. He is the most hated and he soon comes to an abrupt end because of his keen intellect and not so keen social skills. Everyone is stranded in the tiny Italian hill town.
Ricky Montoya is Italian-American and has had a hard time translating the nasty comments made by the dead man Fortuna. He has friends in high places – an uncle who is police commissioner somewhere and a friend who is high up in the art theft department. He decides to use his free time or enforced rest to find more about two missing paintings that were discussed a lot during the seminar.
Ricky runs into local beauty Betta who takes him around on her Ducati. He also runs into old flame Erica who is there to visit her fiancée, and another attractive woman Caterina who is sort of an enigma. Ricky seems to be asking the right questions because there are attempts on his life, or he is just getting very accident prone.
Food lovers will love the detailed descriptions of the various wines Ricky drinks and simple but exotic sounding Italian food he indulges in. The author makes even the pasta fagioli soup sound like something out of this world. Maybe it is, when you sip it in a charming Italian hill town.
The local inspector is a bad penny, but a detective befriends Rick. Is it because of his contacts, or is it just a ruse to collect information? Whatever the reasons, Rick continues asking questions and is quite nosy. Another trait of Rick that we learn about is his obsession with different kinds of perfumes. Throughout the book, we read about Rick’s attempts to recognize what perfume the bella Betta is wearing.
Murder Most Unfortunate is a very light read, perfect for a quiet afternoon or long flight. It won’t ask much of you in terms of involvement. But it is a good read.