Probably not. But here it is anyway. Welcome to the first edition of Italian Intrigues where I’ll be writing about my three passions: life in Italy, food and wine, mysteries and crime.
I’m an American who’s lived in Italy for more than 12 years, the past nine in Rome. For a long time, I’ve toyed with the notion of writing crime fiction. I’ve plotted and researched numerous ideas over the years, often as a non-lethal way of seeking revenge against people who irked me. I figured out how to kill a member of a certain state assembly in the members-only chamber, for example, and I discovered a way to knock off an annoying neighbor while I was out of town.
Here in Rome, I’ve merged my three passions to create a pair of characters who explore Italy’s culinary scene, which is littered with dead bodies. She’s a journalist who has moved to her mother’s native Italy to build a new career as a food writer. He’s a professor of Italian culinary history and traditions at a 700-year-old university. When their paths cross, sparks fly. She uses her nose for news and he uses his professorial curiosity to unmask killers.
My passion for Italy was kindled by college art history classes that opened up the Renaissance for me and made me long to visit Florence. Soon after graduation, I had an opportunity to live in Tuscany for three years—a short train-ride from the Florence of my dreams. While there I learned to make pasta with an Italian chef and lugged a pasta machine (about the same weight as an anvil) back to America when I returned. And my career as a cooking teacher was launched. Pasta 101 led to Heart Smart Italian Food which led to Delicious Desserts which led to…. You get the idea.
And all this led to a newspaper column called A Matter of Taste, where I wrote about food and culture. For five years that Wednesday deadline had to be met regardless of where I was or how I felt. So, I’ve decided that Italian Intrigues will be posted every Wednesday to satisfy my need for a deadline and to perhaps recapture the fun I had writing that column.
I hope you’ll drop by often. Or better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking the little orange square in the address line above. And please post a comment if the mood strikes you.
See you next week.