Title: Death of a Serpent (Serafina Florio Mysteries #1)
Author: Susan Russo Anderson
Review: For starters I enjoyed this mystery and found the characters interesting along with the Madam. I was confused at a few spots and needed to read some of the book again. The mystery was enough to keep me guessing but I really missed the boat on who the killer was. I was surprised and needed to go back and figure out where we had met this character, the name was familiar I just couldn't place them.
I read this at night before bed and I hate to say it, but I kept falling asleep and waking up with my Kindle in my face. I think that this author is going to get better at her writing and I look forward to that. Watching an author grow as a writer is fulfilling for earlier readers.
The mystery centered around the deaths of the working girls at a high end brothel. Serafina is a widow who owes the madam for help. She goes around trying to find the killer with little help from the local police. Her family is sweet and the kids all have a special talent that they use to help the family make it without a father. I see Serafina as a character that will grow with the author and become someone we look forward to reading about.
Mysteries are fun and this one isn’t bad…but the next one will be even better.
Publisher: Published January 7th 2012 by Concad'Oro Publishing
Pages: Kindle Edition
Quick Review: 3 Stars out of 5.
Where Did I Get the Book: Sent by the author for review.
Synopsis: Serafina Florio is a widowed midwife-turned-sleuth living in nineteenth-century Sicily. After grappling with the Mafia and other murderers to solve mysteries in her native town, she moves her family of seven to the Lower East Side where she defies the Black Hand to uncover the truth.
Born in 1827, Serafina lived the first part of her life in Oltramari, a fictional city near Palermo. Her father, a visiting professor at the University of Turin, died in the January 1848 revolution; her mother, a midwife, in the cholera epidemic of 1865.
In 1847, Serafina married Giorgio Florio, the apothecary’s oldest son, who, like Serafina, was a member of the merchant class. After marriage, Serafina remained a midwife, refining her skills, delivering healthy babies.
In 1866—a horrific year in Sicily’s history—three prostitutes were knifed to death, their foreheads gouged with a strange, spiraling mark, their bodies dumped on the madam’s doorstep. When the police did nothing to solve the murders, Rosa—Serafina’s oldest, dearest friend—asked for her help. How could she refuse?
After her husband died, Serafina and her children emigrated to New York where she continued to direct births and solve mysteries until her death in 1914—which she survives.
Her memory is long, her perspective, grand, her penchant for quibbling with Rosa, undiminished, her gift for numbers, still meager.
Author Biography: I was born in Evanston, Illinois. After attending Marywood High School for Girls and St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, I received a B.A. in English Literature from Marquette University.
I am a writer, a mother, a grandmother, a widow. I’ve taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Traveled. Grew up on the north side of Chicago, but lived most of my adult life in the east. So, like Faulkner’s Dilsey, I’ve seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. I've seen worlds blow apart and life turn inside out in less time than it takes to type this sentence. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, I write.
DEATH OF A SERPENT, the first in the Serafina Florio series, published January 2012. It began as a painting of the Lower East Side and wound up as a mystery story. I just published NO MORE BROTHERS, a novella, the second in the Serafina Florio series and am working on another novel, DEATH IN BAGHERIA.
In between writing, revising and editing, I blog and review books. My reviews can be read at Amazon, LLBook Review, and here.