The true story of Italy's most infamous murder, and the scandal that rocked the country.
Stephen Gundle is an historian with specialist interest in modern Italy. His books include Bellissima: Feminine Beauty and the Idea of Italy and Glamour: A History. Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, he has also lived for many years in Italy, and is a contributor to History Today, Radio 4's Night Waves and the Italian press.
* A brilliant, methodical investigation of a murder scandal that convulsed the Roman political and social establishment in the 1950s. Financial Times * Death and the Dolce Vita, a hybrid of history and police detection, brilliantly recreates the details of the Montesi affair...as well as being a thriller, [it] provides an excellent account of the virtues and misdeeds of Europe's most foxy political class. -- Ian Thompson Guardian * The term "eroticism of detail" could have been made for this book ... an intense, claustrophobic narrative of murder, mystery and scandal worthy of a Verdi opera ... a page-turning narrative that explores its extraordinary characters and even more extraordinary cover-ups, evasions and dissemblage, reaching to the top of Italian political life. Scotsman * This is microcosmic history at its most effective: Gundle finds big stories in the small print, teasing out the implications for city and nation of this darkly glamorous demi-monde of starlets and playboys, gossip columnists and - paparazzi. -- Boyd Tonkin Independent * Gundle traces a path through the labyrinth of investigation, cover-up and conspiracy theory that followed to show how the peculiar death of a respectable, unassuming carpenter's daughter came to develop into one of the great scandals - and unsolved mysteries - of the Fifties. Daily Telegraph * What Gundle captures so magnificently is how the case shed light on the intersection between the stars of public life and the dark underbelly of post-war Rome. -- Ben Felsenburg Metro * An incredible story and a must-read for crime novel fans. Press Association * Captivating from the first page ... A tragic case, long-forgotten, has been skilfully resurrected in this brilliant expose of murder and scandal. We Love This Book * A must-read for crime novel fans. Oxford Times * A dark, dramatic true-crime story. Saga * Gundle's intellectual energy and his capacity for research has produced a book that vibrates with the peculiarities of post-war Italy, particularly those of Rome. It is a powerful, convincing recreation of a time and a place. Glasgow Sunday Herald * Inspired ... the whole gloriously unimproving narrative provides the essential backstory for the Berlusconian bunga-bunga of Italy in our own day. Literary Review * There is unlikely to be a more thorough and diligently researched account of the scandal than this one. Spectator * What [Gundle] has done is brilliantly reconstruct the evolution of a conspiracy theory Daily Express * Thrilling ... This is a fascinating story, full of intrigue, gossip, fascinating detail and surprising twists. But it is what Gundle does with the story that makes this such a good book ... written with verve, this book is hard to put down - but it is also a classic Italian giallo (murder mystery), in which the authorities seem as dodgy as the accused. TLS * The cover-up described in Gundle's brilliant real-life whodunit is eerily close to Berlusconi's Italy -- Christopher Hirst Independent