Back to Bologna

Michael Dibdin

Back to Bologna is the tenth book in the Inspector Zen series from the ‘maestro of crime writing’, Michael Dibdin, set in the heart of the historic city of Bologna. Now a major TV series on BBC One from the producers of DCI Banks and Wallander featuring Rufus Sewell.

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‘Pure pleasure.’ Evening Standard
‘An absolute treat . . . wittily and slyly written.’ Euro Crime


When the corpse of the shady industrialist who owns the local football team is found both shot and stabbed, Inspector Aurelio Zen is called to Bologna to oversee the investigation. Recovering slowly from surgery, and fleeing an equally painful crisis in his personal life, Zen is only too happy to take on what at first appears to be a routine and relatively undemanding assignment.

But soon a world-famous university professor is shot with the same gun, and the case threatens to spin out of control . . .

‘The best of the Zen series. Exceptionally clever and witty.’ 5* reader review
‘A very entertaining romp with Zen.’ 5* reader review
‘Very funny and perceptive on Italian society. Michael Dibdin’s Zen books are the top of the pile in detective fiction.’ 5* reader review

‘He wrote with real fire.’ IAN RANKIN
‘A maestro of crime writing.’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘One of the genre’s finest stylists . . . And Zen himself is a masterly creation: he is anti-heroic and pragmatic but obstinate, cunning and positively burdened with integrity.’ GUARDIAN
‘Dibdin tells a rollicking good tale that you want both to read fast, because of its gripping storyline, and to linger over, to savour the evocative descriptions of place and mood.’ INDEPENDENT
‘One of British crime fiction’s most distinguished and distinctive voices.’ ANDREW TAYLOR
‘Dibdin has a gift for shocking the unshockable reader.’ Ruth Rendell
‘Zen is one of the greatest creations of contemporary crime fiction.’ OBSERVER
‘I love the way these books capture the atmosphere and contradictions of Italy.’ 5* reader review
‘Aurelio Zen novels are a great treat.’ 5* reader review
‘There is no better writer than Dibdin. His books are a joy to read.’ 5* reader review
‘Love these books . . . I am sure you will get hooked too!’ 5* reader review

Critic Reviews

Pure pleasure from the first page to the last.

Evening Standard
Critic Reviews

This lively escapade casts modern Italy's many social and political problems in an amusing but realistic light.

Publishers Weekly
Critic Reviews

Dibdin (Medusa, 2004, etc.) satirizes TV spinmeisters, academe, private-eye conventions and midlife angst. You can’t help but be charmed by his string-pulling.

Critic Reviews

Back to Bologna is dazzlingly plotted, features a cast of vivid and idiosyncratic characters, and along the way delivers both comic and serious insights into the realities of today's Italy.

Italian Mysteries
Critic Reviews

An absolute treat . . . wittily and slyly written.

Euro Crime

Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle.After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death,…

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