Cover image for Property of blood
Property of blood
Nabb, Magdalen, 1947-2007.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
314 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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The kidnapping for ransom of a beautiful American-born contessa poses Marshal Guarnaccia's gravest challenge.

Author Notes

Magdalen Nabb 1947 - 2007 Children's author and crime writer Magdalen Nabb was born in Lancashire, England on January 16, 1947. She is the author of the Salvatore Guarnaccia series and the Josie Smith books. Her book Josie Smith was runner-up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award in 1989 and Josie Smith and Eileen won the Smarties Book Prize in l99l. Occasionally she writes journalistic pieces for English, German, and Italian newspapers.

Her final novel, Vita Nuova, was posthumously published in 2008. She died because of a stroke while in Florence, Italy, on August 18, 2007. She was 60 years old. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Mysteries set in Italy have become a hot item in the last several years, with series by Michael Dibdin, Donna Leon, and others garnering the lion's share of the attention. But before Dibdin's Aurelio Zen or Leon's Guido Brunetti, there was Magdalen Nabb's Salvatore Guarnaccia, a Sicilian officer of the carbiniere stationed in Florence. Nabb's series, which began in 1982, returns with its eleventh installment starring the unpretentious, Columbo-like Marshal Guarnaccia, who says little but sees much. When an American-born countess is kidnapped by mistake (her daughter was the intended victim), Guarnaccia must contend not only with tracking the kidnappers but also with avoiding roadblocks constructed by the victim's dysfunctional family. Modestly claiming his incompetence to handle such a high-profile case, Guarnaccia stumbles forward, relying on his powers of observation and sensitivity to the nuances of personality. He is a thoroughly endearing character, but Nabb's portrayals of the kidnappers and the victim are equally compelling, as is the glimpse she provides of the "kidnapping industry" in Italy. Fans of crime Italian style who don't know this series are in for a treat. --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Elegant is the word for Nabb's (The Monster of Florence; The Marshal at the Villa Torrini; etc.) 11th Salvatore Guarnaccia psychological police procedural elegant in style and elegant of mind. Guarnaccia, marshal of the carabinieri, finds clues in the way people behave. His colleagues appreciate his talents, but tend to keep him on the sidelines of any investigation. For them, his greatest talent is in dealing with difficult people, questioning those reluctant to speak, calming those who refuse to be calmed. The unpretentious Sicilian sleuth, whose adopted city is Florence, has a gift for inspiring trust and encouraging others to confide in him. He also has a home life that includes a loving wife who nags him and two kids who give him problems. He is endearingly absent-minded. In the present tale, an American-born woman, Countess Olivia Brunamonti, has been kidnapped by a band of professional thugs. Italian law forbids the paying of ransom, and the family does not report the kidnapping for a week, deepening Olivia's danger. In addition, the gang has left a false trail to a rival clan. Time, as they say, is running out. Olivia is a wonderful character. Her graphic account of her ordeal, which runs intermittently throughout the book, gives the reader a perspective on the physical and psychological seriousness of her situation. Nabb, an Englishwoman who has lived in Florence since 1975, is a fine writer with a sharp intelligence and deep sensitivity to human pain and frailty. (Sept. 18) FYI: The first title in the Marshal Guarnaccia series, Death of an Englishman (1982), will be reissued in paperback simultaneously. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Marshal Guarnaccia, featured in some ten previous titles, investigates the kidnap-for-ransom of an American-born countess in Florence. With a low-key narrative and protagonist but effective nonetheless. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.