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Aurelio Zen Mystery Series

Michael Dibdin
Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
Back to Bologna by Michael Dibdin
End Games by Michael Dibdin

Aurelio Zen Mystery Series : Titles in Order

Book 11
When an advance scout for an American film company disappears, Aurelio Zen’s most recent assignment in remote Calabria becomes anything but routine. Despite a savage attack that has scared the locals silent, Zen is determined to expose the truth. To make matters more complicated, a group of dangerous strangers, led by a rich, single-minded American have arrived to uncover another local mystery—buried treasure—and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. What ensues is a fiendishly suspenseful case that only Aurelio Zen could stumble into and only Michael Dibdin could have created: a wild thriller that takes us deep into a remote region of Italy and the darkest corners of human nature.
Book 10
In the latest installment in his critically acclaimed Italian mystery series, Michael Didbin sends Aurelio Zen to Italy’s culinary capital, Bologna, where he discovers that some cases are not quite what they appear to be.

When the corpse of the shady Bologna industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed with a Parmesan knife, Aurelio Zen is summoned to oversee the investigation. Anxious for a break from his girlfriend, who attributes Zen’s slow recovery from routine surgery to hypochondria, he is only too happy to take on what first appears to be an undemanding assignment. The case quickly spins out of control, becoming entangled with the fates of a student semiotics, a mysterious immigrant claiming to be royalty, and Bologna’s most incompetent private detective. Meanwhile a prominent postmodern academic accuses Italy’s leading celebrity chef of being a fraud. Back to Bologna is dazzlingly plotted and delivers both comic and serious insights into the realities of today’s Italy.
Book 9
After a decomposed body is discovered in an abandoned military tunnel, Inspector Aurelio Zen travels north to the Italian Alps to investigate. At first glance, the death appears to have been an accident. But when Zen takes a closer look, a mysterious tattoo begins to tell a much more sinister tale, especially after the body is snatched from the morgue. As Zen races to discover the inner workings of a clandestine military organization named Medusa, he is reminded of just how lethal Italian history can be.

Medusa takes us on an exploration of the dark history of post-war Italy and a modern-day sightseeing tour of what Zen calls Italia Lite. In the urbane and pragmatic Zen, world-class mystery novelist Michael Dibdin has given us a detective unlike any other. And in this latest installment of this critically acclaimed series, we are treated to a mystery that drips with intrigue and a thriller so satisfying the pages cannot be turned fast enough.
Book 8
Having survived an explosive assassination attempt, Italian police detective Aurelio Zen finds himself convalescing at a Tuscan seaside resort town, where he is under orders to lie low until he is to testify at a much-anticipated Mafia trial. The quiet—and the boredom are relieved by the pleasant distraction of the beautiful Gemma, but just when he feels he is getting somewhere with her, a the discovery of corpse in his usual lounge chair brings his holiday to an abrupt end. Convinced that the Mafia has finally located him, the police put Zen on the move again, in startling directions.

And Then You Die, Michael Dibdin’s latest installment in the Aurelio Zen series, is a wicked, twisting tale that pits Zen against invisible assassins and the possibility of forced retirement. As the plot unfolds, and Zen ponders his uncertain future, bodies are stacking up around him. And Then You Die is another exceptionally surprising, consistently funny triumph from a master of the genre.
Book 7
Aurelio Zen—cynical and tough, yet worn down from years of law enforcement—has just been given the worst assignment he could imagine. He has been sent to the heart of hostile territory: Sicily, the ancient, beautiful island where blood has been known to flow like wine, and the distinction between the police and the criminals is a fine one. Even worse, he has been sent to spy on the elite anti-Mafia squad.The only thing that makes the job palatable—and takes his mind off routine details like the rotting body found in a remote train car—is that Zen’s adopted daughter, Carla, is also in town. But life becomes precarious for Carla when she stumbles upon some information she’d be better off not knowing and befriends a local magistrate on the Mafia’s most wanted list. What ensues is a breakneck plot of amazing complexity that culminates in a stunning finale. Blood Rain, emotionally gripping and defiantly original, is surely one of Dibdin’s finest works.
Book 6
From the award-winning author of Ratking and Dead Lagoon comes a delicious new Aurelio Zen mystery in which wine and truffles figure as prominently as greed and vengence.

When the son of a Piedmontese wine-making family is jailed for killing his father, Aurelio Zen is ordered to secure his release. The reason: A certain well-connected wine connoisseur wants to make sure that this year’s vintage goes to harvest.

In the hill town of Alba, Zen finds himself in the midst of a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricablt linked, bombarded with gossip, and stalked by a mysterious telephone caller with tantalizing clues to his past. He also discovers that certain meals may really be to die for. A Long Finish is Michael Dibdin at his most elegant and surprising.
Book 5
An Aurelio Zen Novel

Michael Dibdin’s overburdened Italian police inspector has been transferred to Naples, where the rule of law is so lax that a police station may double as a brothel. But this time, having alienated superiors with his impolitic zealousness in every previous posting, Zen is determined not to make waves.

Too bad an American sailor (who may be neither American nor a sailor) knifes one of his opposite numbers in Naples’s harbor, and some local garbage collectors have taken to moonlighting in homicide. And when Zen becomes embroiled in a romantic intrigue involving love-sick gangsters and prostitutes who pass themselves off as Albanian refugees, all Naples comes to resemble the set of the Mozart opera of the same title. Bawdy, suspenseful, and splendidly farcical, the result is an irresistible offering from a maestro of mystery.
Book 4
Among the emerging generation of crime writers, none is as stylish and intelligent as Michael Dibdin, who, in Dead Lagoon, gives us a deliciously creepy new novel featuring the urbane and skeptical Aurelio Zen, a detective whose unenviable task it is to combat crime in a country where today’s superiors may be tomorrow’s defendants.Zen returns to his native Venice. He is searching for the ghostly tormentors of a half-demented contessa and a vanished American millionaire whose family is paying Zen under the table to determine his whereabouts-dead or alive. But he keeps stumbling over corpses that are distressingly concrete: from the crooked cop found drowned in one of the city’s noisome "black wells" to a brand-new skeleton that surfaces on the Isle of the Dead. The result is a mystery rich in character and deduction, and intensely informed about the history, politics, and manners of its Venetian setting.
Book 3
In Cabal, master crime writer Michael Dibdin plunges us into a murky world of church spies, secret societies, cover-ups, and mistaken identities.

An apparent suicide in the Vatican may in fact have been a muder conducted by a centuries-old cabal within The Knights of Columbus. A discovery among the medieval manuscripts of the Vatican Library leads to a second death, Zen travels to Milan, where he faces a final, dramatic showdown. Meanwhile, Zen’s lover, the tantalizing Tania, is conducting her own covert operations–which could well jeopardize everything Zen has worked for. Richly textured, wickedly entertaining, Cabal taps the mysterious beauty of Italy in a thriller that challenges our beliefs about love, allegiance, history, and power–and the lengths to which we will go to protect them against the truth.
Book 2
In Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen, Michael Dibdin has given the mystery one of its most complex and compelling protagonists: a man wearily trying to enforce the law in a society where the law is constantly being bent. In this, the first novel he appears in, Zen himself has been assigned to do some law bending. Officials in a high government ministry want him to finger someone–anyone–for the murder of an eccentric billionaire, whose corrupt dealings enriched some of the most exalted figures in Italian politics.But Oscar Burolo’s murder would seem to be not just unsolvable but impossible. The magnate was killed on a heavily fortified Sardinian estate, where every room was monitored by video cameras. Those cameras captured Burolo’s grisly death, but not the face of his killer. And that same killer, elusive, implacable, and deranged, may now be stalking Zen. Inexorable in its suspense, superbly atmospheric, Vendetta is further proof of Dibdin’s mastery of the crime novel.
Book 1
Winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award, this chilling police procedural is a masterpiece of psychological suspense. 

Italian Police Commissioner Aurelio Zen is dispatched to investigate the kidnapping of Ruggiero Miletti, a powerful Perugian industrialist. But nobody much wants Zen to succeed: not the local authorities, who view him as an interloper, and certainly not Miletti’s children, who seem content to let the head of the family languish in the hands of his abductors–if he’s still alive. Was Miletti truly the victim of professionals?  Or might his kidnapper be someone closer to home: his preening son Daniele, with his million-lire wardrobe and his profitable drug business?  His daughter, Cinzia, whose vapid beauty conceals a devastating secret? The perverse Silvio, or the eldest son Pietro, the unscrupulous fixer who manipulates the plots of others for his own ends? As Zen tries to unravel this rat’s nest of family intrigue and official complicity, Michael Dibdin gives us one of his most accomplished thrillers.

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