From this morning’s online


Property of Blood

Posted at 8:56AM Tuesday 21 Aug 2007:

   William Heinemann and Diogenes Verlag AG report that Magdalen Nabb sadly died suddenly at the weekend. Her funeral was held on Monday in Florence. […]

   Her novels which featured Florentine investigator Marshal Guarnaccia include Death of an Englishman, Property of Blood, and most recently, Some Bitter Taste and The Innocent.

   William Heinemann intend to publish her last novel, Vita Nuova, in 2008, with an Arrow paperback scheduled for 2009.

      BIOGRAPHY:     [Taken from her website]

   Magdalen Nabb was born in Church, a moorland village in Lancashire, England. She studied art and, later, pottery which she taught in an English art school whilst exhibiting her own work until 1975 when she moved to Florence in Italy. There, she continued to work on pottery in a majolica studio in Montelupo Fiorentino, a pottery town near Florence, and began writing. It was in Montelupo that she met the model for Marshal Guarnaccia. The town itself, with its tumbledown factories and its wonderful restaurant, are featured in The Marshal and the Murderer. She still lives and writes in Florence, near enough to the carabinieri station in the Pitti Palace to stroll there regularly and have a chat with the marshal who keeps her up to date on crime in the city. […]

   Having been a fan of Georges Simenon’s novels for as long as she can remember, she was astonished and overjoyed when Simenon wrote to congratulate her on her first novel. Their correspondence continued until his death and, until then, the first copy of each book went to him. His presence is very much missed but in difficult moments she can still get advice from him by browsing through his books and his letters.


  “Dear friend and fellow author,

Death in Springtime

    “What a pleasure it is to wander with you through the streets of Florence, with their carabinieri, working people, trattorie, even their noisy tourists. It is all so alive: its sounds audible, its smells as perceptible as the light morning mist above the Arno’s swift current; and then up into the foothills, where the Sardinian shepherds, their traditions and the almost unchanged rhythm of their lifestyle, are just as skilfully portrayed. What wouldn’t one give to taste one of their ricotta cheeses!

    “You have managed to absorb it all and to depict it vividly, whether it is the various ranks of the carabinieri, and of course the ineffable Substitute Prosecutor, or the trattorie in the early morning hours. There is never a false note. You even capture that shimmer in the air which is so peculiar to this city and to the still untamed countryside close at hand.

    “This is a novel to be savoured, even more than its two predecessors. It is the first time I have seen the theme of kidnapping treated so simply and so plausibly. Although the cast of characters is large, they are so well etched in a few words that their comings and goings are easily followed.

    “Bravissimo! You have more than fulfilled your promise.”

         Georges Simenon
            Lausanne, April 1983

      THE BOOKS:     [Expanded from Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin.]

NABB, MAGDALEN (1947-2007) Series character: Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia (MG).

* Death of an Englishman (n.) Collins 1981; Scribner 1982. MG
* Death of a Dutchman (n.) Collins 1982; Scribner, 1983. MG
* Death in Springtime (n.) Collins 1983; Scribner, 1984. MG
* Death in Autumn (n.) Collins 1985; Scribner 1985. MG
* The Prosecutor [with Paolo Vagheggi] (n.) Collins 1986; St. Martin’s, 1988.
* The Marshal and the Murderer (n.) Collins 1987; Scribner 1988. MG

Marshal and Murderer

* The Marshal and the Madwoman (n.) Collins 1988; Scribner 1988. MG
* The Marshal’s Own Case (n.) Collins 1990; Scribner 1990. MG
* The Marshal Makes His Report (n.) Collins 1991; Harper 1992. MG
* The Marshal at the Villa Torrini (n.) Collins 1993; Harper 1994. MG
* The Monster of Florence (n.) Collins 1996; no US edition. MG

   The following novels are not included in CFIV, having been published after the book’s end date of the year 2000. The bibliographic data for these may be incomplete or in error.

* Property of Blood. Heinemann; Soho Press, 2001. MG
* Some Bitter Taste. Heinemann 2003; Soho Press, 2003. MG
* The Innocent. Heinemann 2005; Soho Press, 2005. MG
* Vita Nuova. Heinemann 2008 MG?