Murder in Siena is the fourth Armstrong and Oscar cozy destination mystery by T.A. Williams. Released 1st August 2023 by Boldwood books, it's 255 pages and is available in audio and ebook formats. (Unclear from publisher's info, but possibly in paperback on demand as well). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free. The other books in the series are also currently available on KU.
This is a beautifully descriptive and well written destination mystery set in Tuscany. Expat former policeman Dan Armstrong and his trusty canine sidekick Oscar are on a couples' holiday with friends and Dan, Vigilio and Oscar are drawn into a bizarre death at their hotel of an academic at a conference at the same hotel. Dan's ostensibly along to facilitate translations in English for the police and witnesses, but his insights are valuable and he and Vigilio have a good rapport and friendship, and work well with the local official investigation.
is solid and the dialogue and characterizations are well controlled and
believable. The mystery, denouement, and resolution are self contained
in this volume, so it works well enough as a standalone, but the writing
and mystery are so well planned and executed, that it would make an
excellent weekend binge or buddy read. The author is exceptionally good at weaving (seemingly) extraneous information into the text. There's a lot of humor as well. One of the early scenes in the book sees Dan & co encountering two academics bent over a pile of canid poop and having an earnest discussion about it.
It's not derivative at all, but it reminded me in a lot of good ways of Leon's exceptional Brunetti books as well as Walker's lovely Bruno, chief of police books. Fans of those authors will find a lot to enjoy here.
Four and a half stars. Highly recommended. All of the books are exceptionally well written and fun. The author seems to be on a twice a year output schedule at the moment without sacrificing quality or length. Definitely one to watch develop.