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Born in New Jersey to Irish parents, Grace Brophy lived and worked as a teacher and systems engineer in New York City until 2001, when she and her late husband, figurative painter Miguel Peraza, traveled to Italy with their two cats. While still in Italy, she began The Last Enemy, her first work of fiction. Her second Commissario Cenni novel, A Deadly Paradise, is also published by Soho Press.
Commissario Alessandro Cenni delves into the secret lives of the members of the aristocratic Casati family in Assisi, Italy, after their American niece is murdered during Holy Week in Brophy's rock-solid debut. When Brooklyn transplant Rita Minelli turns up dead in the family cemetery vault, Cenni interrogates her relatives, who were not pleased when she came to live with them and don't seem especially sorry to see her go. Cenni is positive that one of the Casatis is the murderer; his only question, considering that each appears to have had either motive or the means, is who. The deeper he probes, the more this family makes the Borgias look well adjusted. This well-paced murder mystery carries the reader along even after the identity of the culprit becomes clear. Believable narrative twists combined with excellent characterization, rich dialogue and a finely depicted setting will please lovers of old-style deductive detective fiction. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Praise for The Last Enemy "[Brophy shows] real compassion for a middle-aged American woman who horrifies her late mother's Italian relations by moving into their mansion in Assisi . . . The story flourishes in its cloistered setting." --The New York Times Book Review "Fans of Donna Leon or H kan Nesser will be ecstatic to find a kindred spirit in Grace Brophy." --BookPage, Mystery of the Month "Evocative . . . Cenni is well set up to return, and traditional mystery readers should welcome his continued investigations." --The Baltimore Sun "The Last Enemy, Grace Brophy's mystery in an Umbrian setting like no other, serves up more delights than the local pasticceria. The murder of Italian-American Rita Minelli during Holy Week in Assisi, with its warren of winding alleys, hidden squares and steep cobbled stairways, poses questions for Commissario Alessandro Cenni, not the least, those concerning a 17th-century manuscript, a Croatian immigrant, and a reclusive Contessa. With pressure from Rome, the Commissario's own job is on the line. Brophy's wry laser-like insight probes the layers of Italian aristocracy, the police system and the clergy with a sure, deft touch." --Cara Black, New York Times