Book Review: Shadows on the Lake: A Stefania Valenti Mystery by Giovanni Cocco

Shadows on the Lake: A Stefania Valenti Mystery by Giovanni Cocco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Penguin Books

Summary:   A new atmospheric Italian mystery novel set in Lake Como, introducing the clever and captivating Inspector Stefania Valenti 

During the construction of a new road to the Swiss border in the mountains above Lake Como, the remains of a young man are unearthed on the powerful Cappelletti family's property. On the case is Stefania Valenti, forty-five, divorced with a young daughter, and a brilliant, determined police inspector. 
Her investigation takes her back to World War II and deep into the history of the region, a place that during the war attracted smugglers, deserters, secret agents, and fleeing Jews. Steeped in the beautiful atmosphere of Northern Italy, Valenti's investigation brings to light a family's secret, a tragic romance, and reveals a fascinating piece of Italian history.

I knew going into this that it was a translation and I may not get the next in the series soon if ever but I jumped right in anyway. And now I'm hoping when the next will come or if it will.

The setting of Como was just lovely to read about and the food sounded enticing as well. I read this on vacation and was immersed in it while I sat on the beach. I quite enjoyed the mystery and also investigator Valenti. I wanted more of her backstory but as this is the first in a series, I expect there's more to come. I did love the old aunts. The mystery itself had a foot in the past and present and while some of the outcomes weren't a real surprise, they were well done in the reveal. Also as this was a translation, some of the transitions were abrupt from one scene to the next. Still, I didn't think it diminished the reading of the story itself.

Recommended especially if you're a mystery lover who likes something outside the usual destinations.

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