2007: 165. The Dante Game

“It was a matter of simple geometry.

One the tourist map of Florence the cathedral was a large pink blob like a polyhedron.  A puzzled traveller could put a finger on the blob, look up at the red-tiled roof-tops and find the dome rising above everything else, a great rounded octagonal shape like a segmented melon.”

The Dante Game, Jane Langton

I have gone on a bit of a Langton re-reading spree.  As I explained before, Langton writes the Homer Kelly mysteries, a series of novels in which the mystery is as (if not less) important than the literary or historical issue that surrounds each one of the Kelly’s adventures (for his wife, Mary, is as important as Homer in these books).  This book is set in Florence, where Homer is teaching for a semester and is overcome with Florentine life, sights, sounds, and of course, Dante.  The mystery, which encompasses murder, kidnapping and the international drug trade (not to mention the possible modernization of the Catholic church) is second to the setting - the life of Florence, and the people who live there.  These books are quite charming - couldn’t be more different than, say, Denis Lehane, but if you are looking for something escapist and literary, with a hint of mystery and a charming detective (in a bumbling American way, not a Peter Whimsey way), I recommend this series quite highly.  And, obviously I enjoyed re-reading this one enough to keep re-reading others!


Recommended for: People who like cozy mysteries, and American scholars abroad.


Date/Place Completed: 10/23/07; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Re-read.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017