I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni
This is published by Hersilia Press, the small UK outfit that specialises in translating fine Italian crime novels into English. They've come up with a really atmospheric story here, set in 1930s Naples where the enigmatic and aloof Commissario Ricciardi is investigating the murder of a wonderful tenor at the opera house. Of course, maestro Vezzi sang like a dream, but was a pig of a man, so motives for his killing abound. Ricciardi is an intriguing hero who carries the gift/curse of being able to see the dead at the moment of their deaths. So he is a lonely figure, haunted by the anguish of the victims and compelled to seek some justice for them. His grim focus on getting the job done makes him unpopular with his bosses, but he has a loyal deputy, Maione, to support him in what is a quite tender male relationship. Naples and the opera come alive in a fine mystery.
TV Noir: The Twentieth Century by Ray Starman
Brief but fascinating, this tour of noir television shows takes in many fondly remembered classics, such as Dragnet, The Untouchables, NYPD, Miami Vice and even The X Files. Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past provided the template for the morally ambivalent loners who morphed into anti-heroes such as Richard Kimble in The Fugitive or The Prisoner. So how noirish was the famously pastel-shaded Miami Vice? Starman points out that noir isn't all dark shadows and grey fedoras. It may have found its feet among in gangster and police dramas, but hard and existential noir was about wounded people in horror shows, Westerns or war stories. Fasten your seat belts…
Flesh and Blood by Mark Peterson