1st in a new series!
Recently widowed Poldi moves to Sicily in order to quietly drink herself to death with a sea view, but fate intervenes. When she finds the corpse of a young man on the beach, his face blown off with a sawn-off shotgun, she becomes a potential suspect in his murder case. Poldi soon falls for the gorgeous Commissario Montana who has been assigned to lead the case. They form an investigative—and romantic—partnership.
Sicily, a vivid backdrop, is an island of people obsessed with food. They talk passionately about which remote village produces the best olives, pistachio ice cream, oyster mushrooms, mandarins, and marzipan, and about which restaurant serves the best pasta al nero di sepia or canolli a la crema di ricotta. And there is never a direct reference to the mafia ("an invention of those fascists in the North"), even when confronted with murders committed with sawn-off shotguns.
While on a business trip to Kobe, Tsuneo Asai receives the news that his wife Eiko has died of a heart attack. Eiko had a heart condition so the news of her death wasn’t totally unexpected. But the circumstances of her demise left Tsuneo, a softly-spoken government bureaucrat, perplexed. How did it come about that his wife—who was shy and withdrawn, and only left their house twice a week to go to haiku meetings—ended up dead in a small shop in a shady Tokyo neighborhood?
When Tsuneo goes to apologize to the boutique owner for the trouble caused by his wife’s death he discovers the villa Tachibana near by, a house known to be a meeting place for secret lovers. As he digs deeper into his wife's recent past, he must eventually conclude that she led a double life...