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Contents:
  1. See a Problem?
  2. A Private Venus (Melville International Crime)
  3. Traitors to All » Melville House Books

I found Duca Lamberti to be an interesting character. This was the first in the series, so you might find it especially interesting.

Urban Space, Violence and Gender Identity in Post-War Italian Crime Fiction

Lamberti is quite a character, a little bit like moody PIs, a little bit like some Scandinavian protagonsts, but really all that much like any of them. Scerbenenco gets the reader very much more inside his head, and Lamberti is very much less self-absorbed than most of those other characters.


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Peter, the Italian and German Wikipedia articles on Scerbanenco are more informative and much less ridiculous than the English language one you linked to. I can only imagine the following passage from Wikipedia was written by an English speaking member of the Italian Communist Party: At odds with his placid, remissive ways was his virulent and over-the-top anti-communism which stemmed from the trauma of losing his father during the Russian revolution, the trauma of exile and the meager life in Rome which followed it.

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This odd trait helped his popularity among Italian low and middle bourgeoisie, who felt reinforced in their social prejudices, but hampered his critical success in Italy Given that the communists who murdered his father for being a counterrevolutionary killed millions of people at a rate that made the Nazis look like underachievers in the atrocity business, the description of Scerbanenco as being as being virulent and over-the-top in his denunciation of communism is hilarious.

I haven't read any of his books but I've seen a couple of movies based on them. Not necessarily a good guide to a writer, but La morte risale a ieri sera presents Duca Lamberti as possibly the most caring and sensitive policeman ever to have lived.

And it's not a bad movie either. Milano Calibro 9 is a different kettle of fish. Based on some Scerbanenco short stories, it's an entertaining gangster movie that suppossedly influenced the likes of John Woo and Quentin Tarantino, but I wouldn't be surprised if its mixture of sex and violence had more to do with the director than the writer.

Good fun, all the same, especially if you like looking at Barbara Bouchet. I noticed the sentence you singled out.

A Private Venus (Melville International Crime)

The annual prize for the best Italian crime novel, the Premio Scerbanenco, is named after him. He died in in Milan. A superior thriller. Scerbanenco reveals Duca Lamberti to us; in doing so, he also unveils the Italian hardboiled hero. This forgotten noir classic from is finally available in translation. A careful investigation would have indicated that this was no suicide.

Traitors to All » Melville House Books

And so Lamberti finds himself drawn into a role of the sort once played by his late father, an anti-Mafia detective. The narrative brims with dark, deadpan humor and a barely restrained indignation, and brings to mind Leonardo Sciascia and Georges Simenon, to whom Scerbanenco gets compared, as well as American writers such as Ross MacDonald and Raymond Chandler. He was from Sardinia, red-blooded and calculating.

The police had already been there a year before, about poor Alberta, so what could have happened now? Lamberti initially mistakes her for a lesbian given her short hair and pronounced independence, but Livia, who describes herself as cold, nonetheless attracts both sexes.