“The best mystery news in ages is that Soho is restoring to the canon Magdalen Nabb and her tremendous crea-tion, Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Italian police in Florence.”—Chicago Tribune
“First rate. Engrossing, artful, and completely satisfying. Nabb is a fine writer.”—Frank Conroy
“Magdalen Nabb is so good she’s awesome.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Nabb is formidable.”—Houston Post
Everyone is so distracted by the phenomenon of a March snowfall in Florence that no one notices two foreign girls being abducted from the piazza at gunpoint in broad daylight. Even Marshal Guarnaccia has trouble piecing together what he has actually seen: tourists in a car holding up a big map, children going to school, a bus, a drug addict on the steps of Santo Spirito church, a single Sardinian bagpiper in a long, black shepherd’s cloak.
One of the girls, a Norwegian university student, turns up in Pontino, a village in the Chianti hills, where she is hospitalized for a concussion, a leg wound, and possible pneumonia. She says she has been released by the kidnappers so she can make contact. The other kidnap victim, an American girl, is being held for ransom. But the marshal thinks she’s lying.
Kidnapping has become a local racket. It is up to Marshal Guarnaccia to save the young American and put a stop to a flourishing criminal enterprise.
Magdalen Nabb was born in Lancashire and trained as a potter. In 1975, she left her old life behind and moved with her son to Florence, where she knew no one and even though she didn't speak any Italian, but where she fell in love with the local setting. Her Marshal Guarnaccia series, which has been translated into ten languages, was inspired by a real local marshal she befriended in the tiny pottery town of Montelupo Fiorentino. Nabb wrote children's fiction and crime novels until her death in 2007.