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The Rainaldi Quartet, by Paul Adam

September 22, 2014

Felonies of the Week: Rainaldi Quartet & Paganini’s Ghost

We got an email from one of our readers, recently, asking why we hadn’t published more of the delightful “Gianni and Guastafeste” books by Paul Adam. I feel her pain: I would love to publish more books in the series, one of my quirky favorites, but the truth is, Mr. Adam hasn’t written any. The nerve! Gives one a renewed sympathy for Kathy Bates.

The good-ish news is that Mr. Adam has said that he would like to write more adventures of the dynamic duo, an oddball pairing of the local chief of police in this Italian town, and his well-into-middle-age sidekick, an expert in violins, a restorer of violins, and only very, very occasionally a forger of violins. We are now attempting to persuade Mr. Adam to pick up his bow again. If we’re successful, that would be good news indeed.

Why do we love this series so? For starters, the violin-lore is fascinating, and it’s clear as the sound of a G-string that Mr. Adam knows and loves it, that he has a deep, rich pool of stories and mythology and aracana to draw from. Then there’s the fact that he began his career with thrillers, which has given him a sense of pace and a mastery of the kind of intricate plots and switchbacks that many more academic writers lack. (Let’s face it, lots of writers may know buckets about music or history or art, but they often know beans about writing mystery fiction, and the result is never as enthralling as one might like.) Finally, there’s our two protagonists, the young lothario and the old geezer with more than a few dances left in him. As I head toward geezer-hood myself, I am particularly pleased to see Gianni get a romantic life, and not with some young twinkie, either!

And finally, finally, there’s Italy. Who wouldn’t like a vacation there, even if it’s the kind that comes between two covers? So, all told, we would be thrilled to publish a third book in the series. And if you’ve missed the first two, grab’em at our special price: The Rainaldi Quartet and Paganini’s Ghost, this week only 25% off.

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