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Mafia Mystery Lovers Rise Up: It's Time To Crack Open Mario Giordano's Auntie Podli Adventure Series 

It really doesn't get much more Sicilian than this. 

auntie poldi mystery series book covers on Sicilian landscape background
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  • Photo Credit: Samuel Ferrara / Unsplash

The author of dozens of books, the name Mario Giordano will likely spark in many readers a very particular character and series of books. Indeed, Giordano has written the bestselling mystery-tinged adventure series focusing on the emblematic character, Auntie Podli. 

In fact, the series remains Giordano’s only English translation (thus far). 

There’s much to celebrate in the series of books, and yet his oeuvre remains an untapped bastion of stories for young adults, deep dives into the world of art, and even a certain book about one of the most infamous sociological experiments gone awry. 

The novel in question is his 1999 publication, Black Box. Based on the Stanford prison experiment, Black Box deals with the events that transpired amid a two-week experiment where participants were placed in a recreated prison dynamic, with half being made prisoners and the other half prison guards. 

The experiment hoped to study the psychological effects of such an environment, including how power structures form and are upheld. Giodano’s novel digs into the complex psychological state of the participants, bringing readers into the ultimately shocking and unexpected events that transpired over the weeks.

The book was adapted to film as Das Experiment in 2001 for German audiences and again in 2010 for US audiences

In 2013, Giordano’s self-help book, 1,000 Feelings for Which There Are No Names, was translated into English. The book explores where language can fail to describe deep emotions and feelings. It’s a great resource for discovering how deeply a feeling is felt and how it can be explained using a variety of languages. 

The hope is that even more titles will be translated. The success of the Auntie Poldi Adventures may be the catalyst for readers to discover more of Giordano’s body of work. 

Until then, fans of the adventure series will recommend and relive the books. For those that have yet to dive into the series, now’s the time.

Let’s take a quick look at what’s in store for readers looking to join Poldi on her adventures. 

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions

By Mario Giordano

The first book in the series introduces readers to Auntie Poldi, who has recently retired to Sicily with the intention of doing nothing but kick back and people-watch.

As with any detective story, and especially with a cozy mystery like The Sicilian Lions, Poldi soon notices a disturbance, an omission, by way of her favorite handyman is found murdered in what had been otherwise sunny island paradise, it’s up to Poldi to flex her sleuthing skills and get involved

 What commences is a fun page-turning mystery with a protagonist that is at once unique and memorable. 

Auntie Poldi And The Vineyards of Etna

Auntie Poldi And The Vineyards of Etna

By Mario Giordano

There’s always some intrigue when it comes to Auntie Poldi. In The Vineyards of Etna, the sequel to Poldi’s big debut cozy mystery, she finds herself yet again near the crime scene.

This time she discovers the body in a vineyard and soon becomes entangled in a spellbinding series of events all the while the mafia seeks to stop her from uncovering the truth. 

Chief Inspector Vito Montana returns from the first book, Poldi’s love interest, along with yet another cast of eccentric characters including a priest, Poldi’s sisters-in-law, and more.

The Vineyards of Etna is the perfect continuation of Poldi’s expanding curiosity and imagination. 

Auntie Poldi And The Handsome Antonio

Auntie Poldi And The Handsome Antonio

By Mario Giordano

Part of what makes Poldi’s adventures so fun is how she almost always starts off deeply desiring the opposite of a sleuth-heavy investigation.

The handsome Antonio finds her back where she started, aiming to enjoy her retirement, the Sicilian sun, some nice wine, and maybe even play with the thought of rekindling a love affair with Chief Inspector Vito Montana. 

But that doesn’t happen because her ex-husband, John Owenya, who also happens to be a detective, walks back into her life due to the disappearance of his half-brother and a whole lot of money.

The perfect bittersweet start to what undoubtedly becomes another chapter in her ongoing wild adventures. 

Auntie Poldi And The Lost Madonna

Auntie Poldi And The Lost Madonna

By Mario Giordano

The Lost Madonna finds Auntie Poldi back in the same situation—seeking the leisure and wine-soaked break of retirement in Sicily. After a nun jumps to her death off the rooftop of the Apostolic Palace, she becomes a suspect in the subsequent case.

The nun was said to be involved in an exorcism shortly before her tragic death where the woman said to be possessed claimed to be Poldi. 

Now the one that needs help, she finds that most of her friends have suddenly turned a cold shoulder.

The latest novel in the adventure series takes a supernatural bent, and offers those trademark twists and turns, red herrings, and unexpected reveals readers look forward to in an Auntie Poldi adventure.  

Featured image: Samuel Ferrara / Unsplash