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Marshal's Own Case [Hardcover]

Magdalen Nabb
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 1990
Everybody hated Lulu alive, and Lulu dead was even less of an attractive proposition. Marshal Guarnaccia did not want the case, but when an arrest is made, he is uncertain. He has to battle aginst his own prejudices and with the Public Prosecutor before finding out the truth.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

The lore and mystique of male transvestite lifestyles in Florence--wigs, silicone implants, makeup, gowns and, notably, confusions of gender in "a culture dominated by men"--provide the interest in this competent mystery by the author of The Marshal and the Madwoman. As the novel opens, home-loving Marshal Guarnaccia, wife Teresa and small sons Toto and Giovanni, shopping for school supplies, rescue a lost child. Next, elderly Signora Fossi reports her missing adult son. Before long, grisly remains of the corpse of "Lulu" are found on a grassy riverbank. The Marshal takes the case that no one wants, a situation underscoring the novel's theme of unloved and troubled children. When Totoo is caught shoplifting a sweater, the problem of discontented youth hits close to the Guarnaccia home. Police interviews with men calling themselves Carla and Peppina afford sociological insights in a tale that proves more sobering than entertaining.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Marshal Salva Guarnaccia, featured in six previous outings, finds himself saddled with the case of a beautiful (until murdered and dismembered) transsexual prostitute. At first embarrassed and dismayed, the marshal nonetheless plods into the nether world of Florence to question Lulu's many enemies. His search finally centers on a mysterious "patron" of Lulu, nicknamed Nanny. Back home, meanwhile, troubles brew with the marshal's two young sons. Nabb offers a distinctly foreign flavor, approachable protagonist, and offbeat list of coloful characters. Recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive look at a difficult subject May 31 2010
By L. J. Roberts TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: The week that school opens for the autumn term is as bad a Christmas.

An older woman asks the Marshal to look for her 45-year-old son, missing for two weeks and his own son is having problems in school. When pieces of Lulu turn up in plastic garbage bags, Guarnaccia is assigned to lead the murder investigation. With the assistance of his Captain's man, Ferrini, the Marshal is introduced to Florence's transsexual community to find a killer and save an innocent man's life.

In many ways, this is a book about those on the outside; children teased at school, immigrants whose lives were intolerable in their native lands yet find themselves abused in a place they took refuge, those emotionally abused and those whose sexual preferences do not conform.

Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia doesn't feel he fits in; he is big, clumsy, and allergic to the sun, has always been told he is a dreamer and never feels as smart or clever as those around him. He loves his family yet is uncomfortable showing or expressing his emotions.

Even Guarnaccia's Captain views him as ''none too bright and far from articulate but there was no getting away from the fact that he didn't miss much and that the quieter he got, the nearer he was to whatever he was after.' It's nice to have a protagonist who is not handsome and macho, but has insecurities as we all do.

While some may choose not to read this book because of the subject matter, that would be a shame. Ms. Nabb introduces us to a cross-section of the transgender community in a sensitive and non-sensational, non-judgmental manner establishing back stories for each of the characters, individualizing them.

Nabb, once again, takes us to a new area of Florence.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive look at a difficult subject May 31 2010
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: The week that school opens for the autumn term is as bad a Christmas.

An older woman asks the Marshal to look for her 45-year-old son, missing for two weeks and his own son is having problems in school. When pieces of Lulu turn up in plastic garbage bags, Guarnaccia is assigned to lead the murder investigation. With the assistance of his Captain's man, Ferrini, the Marshal is introduced to Florence's transsexual community to find a killer and save an innocent man's life.

In many ways, this is a book about those on the outside; children teased at school, immigrants whose lives were intolerable in their native lands yet find themselves abused in a place they took refuge, those emotionally abused and those whose sexual preferences do not conform.

Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia doesn't feel he fits in; he is big, clumsy, and allergic to the sun, has always been told he is a dreamer and never feels as smart or clever as those around him. He loves his family yet is uncomfortable showing or expressing his emotions.

Even Guarnaccia's Captain views him as "...none too bright and far from articulate but there was no getting away from the fact that he didn't miss much and that the quieter he got, the nearer he was to whatever he was after." It's nice to have a protagonist who is not handsome and macho, but has insecurities as we all do.

While some may choose not to read this book because of the subject matter, that would be a shame. Ms. Nabb introduces us to a cross-section of the transgender community in a sensitive and non-sensational, non-judgmental manner establishing back stories for each of the characters, individualizing them.

Nabb, once again, takes us to a new area of Florence. Beyond providing a sense of physical place, for part of the book, she takes the weather and makes it an element that is almost another character.

The plot is engrossing, emotional, tragic and poignant. I applaud Nabb for not employing a clichéd ending. Each book in this series has, so far, been better than the last. This is no exception. The impact has stayed with me far beyond the final page.

THE MARSHAL'S OWN CASE (Pol Proc-Marshal Guarnaccia-Florence, Italy-Cont) - Ex
Nabb, Magdalen - 7th in series
Scribners, ©1990, US Hardcover - ISBN: 0684192012
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marshall is wonderful Feb. 25 2014
By Terry5555 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was lead to this series about the Marshall by Magdelen Nabb by a reviewer saying that it was better than Donna Leon. These are
great stories, also showing the realities of Italian life and history, with excellent character development. Read the whole Nabb series
about the Marshall -all the books are great.
3.0 out of 5 stars so down & sad Feb. 25 2013
By moderatelymoderate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Had this been the first book in the series, it would almost certainly been my last. I hope the world for the trans-gendered has changed in Italy since this book was written. We seem to be much more accepting here in the US. There is no reason they can't work at regular jobs.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dreary, sordid tale Aug. 24 2008
By northkona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read all of Nabb's books, and like the way she weaves details about Florence and its citizens into her murder stories. However, this book is a dreary trudge. There's a gruesome murder of a transsexual, but the way she describes the demi-monde of transsexual prostitutes leaves you with the idea that droves of Florentine young men are going to Spain to undergo sex changes just so they can be more alluring hookers. It didnt seem like the author really knew very much about what drives anybody to undergo such a life-altering process. We can be fairly certain, however, that the pinnacle of such a person's ambition is greater than continuing to turn tricks in the middle of the night in a public park. Like all of her books, this one features Marshal Guarnaccia, but her description of him here is not well done: she omits the fine points of his low-key character, and makes him a dolt. Additional aggravation for the reader includes home life peppered with minor, boring dramas, one kid acting up (who cares?) and the Marshal's overly protective nervous wife chewing on her knuckles. The book just doesn't rise to the level of her other work. I guess transsexual prostitution might seem like a spicy topic to build a story around, but this one fails on so many counts, and is so unbelievable, that you keep checking to see how many pages are left until it's over. Writing a series that's consistently good surely must be a challenge. Sometimes good writers misfire. In my opinion you could skip this one and not miss anything.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marshall goes out on a limb Feb. 6 2010
By VICKY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Noone in the Department thought the death of a prostitute was unusual...even the Marshall tended to side step the transexual issue, but then he became involved. He got to know the small community and saw a crime he wanted to solve
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