A messy debut with peripatetic pretensions that leaps from Sicily to Detroit to Peekamoose Heights in the Catskills. During WWII, a Nazi colonel assassinates a Sicilian resistance brigade led by La Contessa Sophia Campi and gleefully pockets her family treasure, a diamond necklace known as the Isabela Pendant. The Contessa’s young brother Vittorio Gianelli vows a tearful vengeance. Years later, now ensconced as a Mafia Don in Detroit, Vittorio thinks he’s ready to redeem the Pendant, but he’s not. The two sons he sends after the treasure are murdered, and the Don sadly retires to Garibaldi House, a heavily fortified castle in the Catskills. Just downstream from the Don’s digs, teenaged fisherman Danny Henderson and his dog dig up a pouch containing, mirabile dictu!, the Isabela Pendant. Bulky, middle-aged Captain Ed McAvoy of the Peekamoose Police is called in, but before he identifies the Pendant he must deal with the murder of fisherman Harvey DuMont. His investigation requires him to visit Don Vittorio and his consigliere, gossip at the Plough & Whistle with stereotypical villagers, and wonder why the young minister who took DuMont’s last confession has hied himself off on retreat. The Don’s remaining son, hotheaded Tony, will cause more trouble before blazing away at a pair of con men and rescuing McAvoy, his sister Lucille, and enterprising Danny.
An unsuccessful attempt to make the mobbed-up terrain of the Catskills seem as chummy and cozy as the Cotswolds.