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 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.
Last seen in Nabb's Some Bitter Taste (2002), Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia is an unusual protagonist for a crime novel: he's neither a Bond-like sophisticate nor a recovering loser; a Sicilian living in Florence, he's neither on his own turf nor in a strange land. A modest family man, a quiet and calm observer-but no macho silence, mind you-he makes his way in a town he's come to know. In lovely measured language, the author unfolds the story of a woman's body found in a pond in the Boboli Gardens. The victim is unrecognizable, so it's some time before Guarnaccia, calling on an intriguing assortment of artisans and others in his neighborhood, discovers that she's Akiko, a young Japanese apprentice to the shoemaker Peruzzi. Guarnaccia digs for answers, but when he finally identifies Akiko's mysterious lover, the chief suspect in her death, the marshal for once regrets knowing the truth. While this, the 13th Marshal Guarnaccia investigation, may be short on action (even admirers of Nabb's style may find an extended dream sequence a bit too long), it offers such pleasures as great local atmosphere and rich characterizations. Agent, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Praise for The Innocent "It is so good to walk with [Magdalen
Nabb] through the animated streets of Florence, with its
carabinieri, its ordinary people, its little trattorie and even its
noisy tourists. It's all so alive, you can hear the noises, smell
the smells, see that morning mist on the fast flowing Arno . . .
--Georges Simenon "[Nabb crafts a] sense of estrangement [that] accounts for Guarnaccia's special perspective on strangers, those 'innocents' among the living and the dead . . . Once a stranger, she knows, always a stranger."
--The New York Times Book Review "The richest mystery here . . . is Florence itself, whose intricate politics and class structure Nabb parses with precision and wit."
--The Washington Post
Praise for Magdalen Nabb "Artfully understated . . . [An] elegant series."
--The New York Times Book Review "[Nabb] writes in graceful, calm prose."
--The Associated Press "Lovely measured language . . . Offers such pleasures as great local atmosphere and rich characterizations."
--Publishers Weekly "Lean, elegant prose that surpasses the best of Simenon."
--Kirkus Reviews "[A] superb series."
--Booklist "Guarnaccia's Florence is a delightful place to visit."