Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lives in Seattle.After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratking in 1988, which won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year and introduced us to his Italian detective - Inspector Aurelio Zen. In 1989 The Tryst was published to great acclaim and was followed by Vendetta in 1990, the second story in the Zen series. Dirty Tricks was published in 1991. Inspector Zen made his third appearance in Cabal, which was published in 1992. The Dying of the Light, an Agatha Christie pastiche, was published in 1993. His fourth Zen novel, Dead Lagoon, was published the follow
Twice winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award, Dibdin returns with popular P.I. Aurelio Zen and a murder that threatens Italy's wine-growing industry.
Family truths and family lies, as gnarled and hidden as prized local truffles, beat at the heart of the newest case for Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen, last seen in Cosi Fan Tutti (1997). Sent in early fall from Rome to the Piedmont to determine who killed a local vintner in time to save the dead man's vintage, Zen is out of his realm in many ways. He doesn't know the language of wine or wine making, nor is he privy to the generations-old secrets that may lie behind the mutilation and murder of wealthy, unpopular Aldo Vincenzo, whose DOC Barbaresco is the best wine of the region. In jail, but only for a while, is the victim's son, Manlio, who fought loudly with his father the evening before the body was discovered. The subsequent deaths of a local truffle hunter and another vintner provide clues, but Zen's course is twisted, complicated further by his continuing distress over his girlfriend's recent abortion, by anonymous phone calls he receives at odd locations, by unexpected bouts of somnambulism and by the intimations of a local hashish-smoking, harpsichord-playing physician that the policeman harbors a deep-seated psychological problem. Even so, Zen is a masterful investigator, who steps well beyond the bounds of accepted interrogation to ferret out the decades-old relationships of love and deep resentment that surface in the current sequence of murders. The path to his ultimate success in this layered case is, as usual, pure pleasure for Dibdin's readers. (Sept.)
"Once again, Dibdin delivers unforgettable characters in a tightly woven plot." --"The Globe and Mail ""Dibdin has a gift for shocking the unshockable reader. He writes the unmentionable, calmly and with devastating effect." --Ruth Rendell