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Holy Smoke [Paperback]

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Item Number 271081  
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Item description for Holy Smoke by Adriana Hunter Tonino Benacquista...

"Boisterous black comedy . . . funny and goodhearted, with much incident and expert enthusiasm for sex, food and drink."-The Literary Review

"Much to enjoy in the clash of cultures and superstitions, even a tasty recipe for poisoning your friends with pasta. Detail like this places European crime writing on a par with its American counterpart."-Belfast Independent

Some favors simply cannot be refused. Tonio agrees to write a love letter for Dario, a low-rent Paris gigolo. When Dario is murdered, a single bullet to the head, Tonio finds he has been left a small vineyard near Naples. The wine is undrinkable, but an elaborate scam has been set up. The smell of easy money attracts the unwanted attentions of the Mafia and the Vatican and the unbridled hatred of the locals. Mafiosi aren't choir boys, and monsignors can be very much like Mafiosi.

Winner of three mystery prizes in one year, including the Grand Prix de la Littrature Policire and the Prix Mystre de la Critique.

Tonino Benacquista, born in France of Italian immigrants, dropped out of film studies to finance his writing career. After being in turn a museum watchman, a train guard on the Paris-Rome line and a professional parasite on the Paris cocktail circuit, he is now a highly successful author of fiction and film scripts.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.64" Width: 5.12" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.44 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
Publisher   Bitter Lemon Press
ISBN  190473801X  
ISBN13  9781904738015  

Availability  0 units.

More About Adriana Hunter Tonino Benacquista

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Holy Smoke?

Not as good as expected  Mar 31, 2008
I found this book to be somehow lacking, despite the fact that it has apparently won one or more awards.

It sort of meandered along with the main character stumbling into plot connections, which perhaps reflects the Gallic and Italian flair referred to in a review clip from The Guardian.

''An iconoclastic chronicle of small-time crooks and desperate capers, with added Gallic and Italian flair. Wonderful fun.'' The Guardian

However, this stumbling just didn't have a realistic feel to it and perhaps that is why the novel leaves me with a "meh" feeling.

Good Weekend Read  Apr 27, 2005
This was a good read. Surprisingly one of the most believable books that I have read in a long time. I recommend it for anyone who likes books that are intelligent yet still an easy read.
delightfully droll dark thriller  Apr 9, 2005
Dario Trengoni and his childhood pal Antonio Polsinelli meet for the first time in years and discuss what each is doing and what is happening with some of their mutual friends from growing up Italian in South Paris. Dario insists "Anto" speaks the real language, Italian better than he so he asks a favor. Anto reluctantly agrees to writes a love letter for Dario to Madame Raphaelle ironically in French.

Not long after their encounter, someone shoots Dario in the head. Tonio as he known now is stunned to learn he inherited an Italian vineyard near Naples from Dario. He also finds out that his friend was a Taxi-boy earning his money as a gigolo. Tonio tries to locate Madame Raphaelle, but that proves a bit dangerous. So instead he travels to his new property only to find the wine stinks, the vines are worse, the locals already hate him, and a religious scam is in place. With the inheritance comes the Mafia and the Vatican, two of the toughest mobs in Europe, who expect Tonio to give each of them a 100 percent tithe.

HOLY SMOKE! This tale is a terrific twisted look at crime from the perspective of a small timer who is being squeezed by organized groups who want the whole action. Tonio is fabulous as a minnow suddenly swimming with sharks. Fans will appreciate his distinction between the two outside "mobs". The story line satirizes criminal behavior (a crime is defined by the state) to include organized religion as a subcategory of crime. Tonino Benacquista provides a delightfully droll dark thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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