ITALIAN FEVER, by Valerie Martin

Who killed Lucy Stark's employer? Why did DV - an inexplicably successful writer of awful prose - leave his secluded Tuscan villa and wander in the moonless dark over the rough countryside? Did he really fall down a well? That's what Massimo - sexy, seductive, self-contained Massimo - says. So does weird, supercilious Allesandro, whose passionate love note to DV's girlfriend Lucy finds in DV's night table. Cool, organized, efficient Lucy is sent to Tuscany to wind up DV's affairs, instead falls dangerously ill in the remote farmhouse (no villa...but then DV rarely told the truth about anything) and then falls into an affair of her own. And who else is telling the truth, and who is lying? This enticing novel will mesmerize Italiafans and lovers of detailed romances. The author's descriptions of Lucy's reactions to art works is worth the read alone. I adored this book, it's my kind of stranger-in-a-strange-land escape. My rating is 100% my own (if I like it, it gets high marks), others may not agree. The writing style is clear and straightforward, the setting perfectly exotically Italian (this writer knows her Italians), the plot sufficiently torturous, the emotions fascinating and just complex enough: 5!