Inspector Ricciardi (Amazon Prime/PBS Masterpiece)– a well-done “giallo”

Guest Reviewer: Bruce Pierini

My husband doesn’t like subtitles nor detective stories (“giallo” in Italian is a police mystery or whodunit). But he’s hooked on this one, especially since the first (and so far only) episode we’ve seen is Season 1, Epsiode 1 set partly in the San Carlo Opera House of Naples; this RAI (Radiotelevision Italiana) series is set in the 1930s and that, of course, means during Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship. Inspector (Commissario) Ricciardi’s Neopolitan setting is itself enough to draw us in, but the writing, acting and directing is high level. The present murder narrative mimics the operatic murder, on stage, during a performance of Cavalleria Rusticana.

You can’t guess the murderer until right near the end. The pace is fast and we had some doubts about how quickly Inspector Ricciardi figures out the complex murder scenes and filters through the suspects. But, hey, it’s good entertainment.

We’re now on our way through the series. Highly recommended.

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