On Friday 5 February at 6.30 pm, the presentation of the novel Giallo Banana (Neri Pozza) , by Giovanni Di Giamberardino and Costanza Durante, will be held in the bookshop. Luca Crovi will speak with the authors.

The title, which proved to be perfect, intrigued me and from the very first pages makes you want to continue reading it.
The reason is simple: it totally upset the reading standards I’m used to; starting with the unlikely protagonist, Vittorio Maria Canton di Sant’Andrea , count of the most ramshackle fallen noble family imaginable. Vittorio dresses in a flashy way, has obvious weight problems, but it is the difficulties in socializing that lead him to spend whole days in front of the worst junk TV and the crossword puzzles of the Puzzle Week. The Earl, however, is drawn to mysteries, just like his source of inspiration: Miss Marple – The Lady in Yellow. It will be this passion to push him to take on the role of Prince Investigator to investigate the alleged suicide of the noblewoman Priscilla Castaldi Cestelli, which took place during a social event attended by all the people who matter .

“They killed her, Gelasius.”
“We have previously discussed your theories regarding Whitney Houston’s death, the Ku Klux Klan and the CIA cover-up, sir.”
“That is a case already solved, Gelasius”.

The protagonist is accompanied by two other fundamental characters: Gelasius , the omnipresent Soviet-style butler with a hidden passion for One Direction, and Aunt Magda , the odd elderly relative who welcomed him into her home and raised him. These two appearances are united against our Vittorio, who ends up constantly finding himself under the crossfire of their pricks.

“Since when did you start talking like Lindsay Lohan?” – Aunt Magda was very fond of magazines.
“Ever since they accused me of anorexia because of my perfect physical shape, aunt.” – Vittorio, on the other hand, knew them by heart.
“It doesn’t matter. I thought such a party might be to your taste. Trine, powdered wigs, in stickers … Basically, your summer wardrobe, Vittorio Maria.”

If on the one hand, Vittorio, Gelasio and Aunt Magda are the hilarious element (yes, because in this novel we laugh from beginning to end), the plot, as well as the investigative aspect typical of the detective story, does not creak at all under the considerable size of the characters. On the contrary.

[…] Then the apparition: with a costume to make Sofia Coppola green with envy, Priscilla Castaldi Cestelli, still beautiful, the true protagonist of this splendid soirée, makes her long-awaited entrance dressed as Marie Antoinette. Applause followed, then the countess, whom we like to call Polly, recalling her past as a starlet in a couple of sexy comedies […] and as a participant in the Island of the Famous, she starts throwing sour cherry croissants in the faces of the guests. […]

I could also add that the authors used the weapon of irony to talk about a society that has fallen in values, as well as in finances, which can only stay alive if at the center of a goal. But about this, maybe we will talk directly with them.

All that remains is to renew the invitation on Friday 5 February at 6:30 pm. I’ll be there and you will recognize me by the hand raised in the usual moment of questioning.

Giallo Banana