When Auntie Poldi loses her inner equilibrium, it takes a volcano to restore her to balance.
Having decided after all not to drink herself to death with a comfortable view of the sea (Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, 2015), Bavarian expatriate Isolde Oberreiter has settled into a pleasant routine in her villa in Torre Archirafi. Mondays: the beach. Tuesdays: the fish market with Uncle Martino. Wednesdays: language school in Taormina. Thursdays: tea with her neighbor Valérie. Fridays, sex with Commissario Vito Montana. Saturdays: gin rummy with Signora Cocuzza and Padre Paolo. But routines can do only so much to tame a force of nature like Poldi, as she is known to her family, friends, and neighbors, which include the entire population of Torre Archirafi and a good bit of neighboring Catania. Soon she’s on a quest: to find out who killed Lady, Valérie’s scruffy, gentle mongrel. Vito inadvertently provides her first clue. Invested in a brand of pillow talk only he and Poldi could devise, he concludes one Friday afternoon’s adventures with an account of the death of Elisa Puglisi, a member of Catania’s provincial Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia, who was conked by a bottle of Polifemo. Well, anyone depraved enough to kill a district attorney might do the same to a defenseless animal, and next thing you know, Poldi is riding her multicolored Vespa up the slopes of Etna to the Avola vineyard, the source of the bottle that put a premature end to Puglisi’s career. And because Poldi “was just not made for compromises, for the grey areas of life, for rear-view mirrors, loopholes or get-out clauses,” she pushes forward to an encounter with a winemaker that proves as explosive as the hill beneath her feet.
Giordano gives his heroine’s second outing as much punch as her debut. Long may she reign.