The Salati Case, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Castagnetti (informally known as 'Casta') is a private detective who doesn't do things by the book.

When a pompous notary commissions him to verify that a missing person is 'presumed dead' in order to dispose of a dead woman's estate to the other heirs, Casta smells a rat.

Before long he's reopening wounds from years ago and exposing family secrets to those who have tried to suppress them.

The relatives of Signora Salati just want their their inheritance, but Casta is going to make sure they get their just desserts as well. Because Casta isn't the sort to content himself with 'presumed dead'.

He likes certainty, the kind of certainty that comes from seeing a skeleton.

As the Salati case progresses, other corpses appear and Casta realises he's at the centre of an old-fashioned Italian whodunit. "The Salti Case" marks the appearance of a new and memorable detective: an orphan who has pulled himself up from the mean streets.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780571245864

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I enjoyed this book very much and was pleased to discover that it's the first in a series to feature the Italian private investigator, Castagnetti ("Casta"). When he's commissioned to find out what happened to the son of a recently deceased woman so that her estate can be probated, there really isn't much doubt about whether or not the son is alive or dead; instead, the author does a nice job of maintaining suspense as Casta untangles the various relationships to determine who is responsible and why and there are some interesting twists leading us to the answer. There are no superfluous characters here, no pointless plot moves, just an intelligent exposition of some familiar themes.

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