Maurizio De Giovanni, an author from Naples, has written many well-received gialli (mystery novels). He is known for a series set in the 1930s featuring Commissario Ricciardi, a diligent investigator cursed with the supernatural ability to see the last moments of the dead. This strange, loner detective and his faithful sidekick Maione are brilliantly depicted as is the fascist era in its menace and limitations. Also playing a vivid role is the city of Naples itself. Fans of noir fiction should like this bleak series – which has been translated into English. De Giovanni has also started a new Neapolitan series, this time, set in the present. The “prequel” Il metodo del coccodrillo (available in English) introduces Ispettore Lojacono, a Sicilian detective transferred to Naples. The following two novels feature Lojacono and his colleagues at the precinct of Pizzofalcone – a precinct which has a last chance to validate itself to the authorities and is staffed by people with “issues.” I like this series better: it’s an Italian police procedural, there are no paranormal phenomena, while grim the plot lines are slightly less dire – there’s even (a little) comedy – and the characters are developing and becoming more three-dimensional. As always, it’s great to be immersed in the wonderful chaos that is Naples.