The Sudden Disappearance of the Worker Bees
By Serge Quadruppani, translated by Delia Casa
Available from Skyhorse Publishing
On vacation with her husband in an idyllic Italian valley, Police Inspector Simona Tavianello stops at the local beekeeper’s shop to buy some honey, where she finds a body lying in the entrance. Simona tries to avoid involvement—she is, after all, off-duty. But when she realizes that the murder weapon is her own gun, what can she do but take charge?
The victim was an engineer at the controversial agricultural research center for Sacropiano, a biotechnology company accused of developing pesticides that are making the bees in the region disappear. At the same time Simona found the body, the local beekeepers were nearby organizing a militant sit-in to protest the company’s practices. And found on the floor near the corpse was a tract entitled, “The Bee Revolution.” Simona Tavianello’s investigation gets her caught between the radical environmentalists and the powerful industrialists who are allied with the police. That would be complication enough, but she also needs to deal with the wounded ego of Cacabonda, the local police officer, who is officially in charge of the investigation.
With her sharp humor and spot-on observations of current events in Italy, can Tavianello not only solve the murder, but also discover the intriguing reason behind the disappearance of the bees?