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Dibdin, Michael

detective holmes italian conan

(British, 1947– )

Dibdin has not only written accomplished pastiches of classic detective fiction writers, notably of Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, but has also developed the genre to include social and historical perspectives. The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (1978) takes the form of a discovered manuscript written by Dr Watson, telling of Holmes being brought in to solve the Jack the Ripper murders, and it has many satisfying plot twists. A Rich Full Death (1986) has another kind of Victorian setting, in Florence, with Robert Browning cast as an amateur detective. Dibdin is perhaps best known for his series of novels featuring Aurelio Zen, an Italian police commissioner facing the contemporary problems of civic corruption, terrorism, and kidnapping. In his investigations he also encounters the subtleties of traditional Italian society; Ratking (1988) is the first of the series, which also includes A Long Finish (1998), set in the wine-growing region of Piedmont.

Arthur Conan Doyle, H. R. F. Keating, P. D. James. See CRIME  JS

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