Commissario Alec Blume, on health leave, has retreated from Rome to central Italy. At the Villa Romanelli, he enrols in a natural remedies course conducted by a young woman named Silvana. But far from recuperating, a feverish Blume becomes isolated and sluggish with sickness.
Increasingly ill at ease in the stifling environment, the dark history of the crumbling villa and its once-magnificent gardens draw him in. And when a Romanian girl who works for Silvana’s fiancé, Niki, asks for his help, Blume is dragged into the shadowy case of a missing girl and the horrors of the garden’s malignant beauty.
"Fitzgerald has created another gripping mystery featuring the irresistibly stubborn Blume.... Readers cannot help but root for him.... Fans of Donna Leon or Andrea Camilleri are bound to enjoy." (Shelf Awareness)
"Alec Blume is an inspired creation...a sly, sardonic loner who gives the impression of knowing Rome better than its natives." (The Guardian)
"[An] exciting series.... If your readers loved Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series, get them started on this one." (Library Journal)
"An outstanding detective." (Publishers Weekly)
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Out of sorts Alec Blume sorts it!