I have read and enjoyed one previous work by the author, Death on a Quiet Day, and I was happy to try another by the author. After my last read, I was a little apprehensive when I saw how much the first chapter leaned into Shakespeare. My next to nothing knowledge on the topic made me fear being left out of the entire narrative, but I was happily mistaken.
There are some narrative styles that one clicks with and for some reason, I like Sir Appleby and way his mind works. He has a very systematic approach and for the most part, keeps us, the reader in the loop. This last part is not very common in the books that I have read of sleuths/cops based in that period. On a random trip to Italy, Sir John happens to meet an old friend who delights in the most random of things, and he sends him off with very odd thoughts both voiced and implied. Soon after, the man is no more. The circumstances surrounding his death are strange, to say the least, and after a few instances of goading as well as the memory of the peculiar last meeting gets an investigation underway with Sir John heading down to the scene of the crime. As he gets to the point, he meets the odd members of the situation in an orderly fashion giving us an entertaining introduction to them all. There are more oddball characters thrown in than I would have expected from a tale of this size, but they were essential to the narrative increasing the stakes of the background. Finally, the ending. The resolution happened in a surprising twist after I was lulled into thinking I knew where it was going, and like a majority of the times that has happened, I enjoyed the suddenness. The whole situation stretches over just a couple of days before being wrapped up.
I would definitely pick up more books by this author the next chance I get. I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley (the reprint published last year) and the publishers, but the review is solely based on my affinity to the writing style and my reading experience as a whole.