Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to read and review. Thank you to Little Brown Book Group / Constable for a copy of the book to read and review. This is the first time I’ve read a Tom Benjamin novel.
It’s truffle season and in the hills around Bologna the hunt is on for the legendary Boscuri White, the golden nugget of Italian gastronomy. But when an American truffle ‘supertaster’ goes missing, English detective Daniel Leicester discovers not all truffles are created equal. Did the missing supertaster bite off more than he could chew?
As he goes on the hunt for Ryan Lee, Daniel discovers the secrets behind ‘Food City’, from the immigrant kitchen staff to the full scale of a multi-million Euro business. After a key witness is found dead at the foot of one of Bologna’s famous towers, the stakes could not be higher. Daniel teams up with a glamorous TV reporter, but the deeper he goes into the disappearance of the supertaster the darker things become. Murder is once again on the menu, but this time Daniel himself stands accused. And the only way he can clear his name is by finding Ryan Lee…
Discover Bologna through the eyes of English detective Daniel Leicester as he walks the shadowy porticoes in search of the truth and, perhaps, even gets a little nearer to solving the mystery of Italy itself.
This is the second book I’ve read set in Italy this week, a country I have only visited once so far. Tom Benjamin’s writing brings Bologna to life, and despite being a crime thriller featuring murder, has had this reader googling the area to see whether I should add it to my post pandemic trade itinerary. And yes, it did join my list.
Daniel is searching for a young American, Ryan Lee, who is a supertaster and has vanished after visiting a number of local restaurants leaving behind a folded paper model. With the help of the other members of private investigation firm, owned by his father-in-law, Daniel searches the city and local hills for clues.
I enjoyed this mystery novel, featuring truffles (although not the chocolate version), restaurants, truffle growers, food wholesalers and historic buildings. Daniel is working alongside the local police forces and an investigative journalist, but they don’t always appear to be working for the same side.
I’m happy to recommend this well written and tense page turner to fans of crime fiction/ detective novels. I’m off to add the first book about Daniel (A Quiet Death in Italy) to my book shopping list.
Tom Benjamin grew up in the suburbs of north London and began his working life as a journalist before becoming a spokesman for Scotland Yard. He later moved into public health, where he developed Britain’s first national campaign against alcohol abuse, Know Your Limits, and led drugs awareness programme FRANK. He now lives in Bologna.
Find Tom on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at tombenjaminsays