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Magdalen Nabb was born in Lancashire and trained as a potter. In 1975, she left her old life behind and moved with her son to Florence, where she fell in love with the local setting. Her Marshal Guarnaccia series, which has been translated into ten languages, was inspired by a real local marshal she befriended in the tiny pottery town of Montelupo Fiorentino. Nabb wrote children's fiction and crime novels until her death in 2007.
Nabb's modest Florentine Marshal Guarnaccia makes his fifth appearance in this superb novel with fully realized characters and an engrossing mystery. Called upon to find a missing Swiss student, Monica Heer, by Elisabeth Stauffer, her nervous companion, Guarnaccia goes to a pottery center outside Florence, Monica's last known destination. Local policeman Marshal Niccolini helps the visiting detective interview the artisans, employees of a man called ``Little Moretti,'' but nobody offers useful information. When the girl's body is found behind Moretti's factory, Guarnaccia focuses on clues in anonymous letters that hint at the source of Moretti's capital and his connection with the village's wealthiest man, who is accused of having betrayed the partisans to the SS during the Nazi occupation. By the time Guarnaccia dredges up submerged truths, both he and everyone else involved are profoundly affected by the case. Nabb enhances the story wtih descriptions of talented potters at work, some of whom raise the craft to an art, and with merry contrasts between the shy, quiet Guarnaccia and the bluff, ebullient Niccolini. (December)
Praise for Magdalen Nabb "The exquisite sensibility of Magdalen Nabb's police procedurals has all to do with the feeling of displacement that haunts her sensitively observed characters." --The New York Times Book Review "Every word should be savored." --Washington Post Book World "The best mystery news in ages is that Soho is restoring to the canon Magdalen Nabb and her tremendous creation, Marshal Guarnaccia of the Italian Police in Florence." --Chicago Tribune "Nabb continues to extend conventions of the police procedural to suit her own intriguing vision and purpose." --The Philadelphia Inquirer