Title: Both End in Speculation
Author: Nancy Avery Dafoe
Keywords: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Detective, Italy, Rome
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3
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Both End in Speculationis a Vena Goodwin mystery about three murders in Rome, Italy, centered around a previously unknown John Keats’ poem.
BLURB: Both End in Speculation
Both End in Speculationbegins with two discoveries: a murdered woman found on the Arch of Constantine and the revelation of a John Keats’ poem written at the end of his life in Rome, Italy. Disclosure of the invaluable poem causes events leading to murders with bodies deposited at historical sites in Rome.
The Vena Goodwin mystery is also an exploration of Keats’ concept of “negative capability,” in which intuition and uncertainty are prized over absoluteness. The speculation refers to light and darkness in the plot, bringing in the European refugee crisis, the Keats’ poem, and why we seek out uncertainties, including mystery.
Familiar characters from book one in the series are the protagonist Vena Goodwin and her Italian lover Elio Canestrini.
EXCERPT: Both End in Speculation
Professore Giancarlo Pavoni had been to the Coliseum more times than he could count, but on the evening of March 14, Giancarlo was lying in pooled blood inside a body bag at the lowest levels of the Coliseum. From a historical perspective, the Coliseum had always impressed the young university professor of Greek and Latin studies.
A hulking figure dressed in black, pulled up the construction vehicle in pouring rain, and dragged Pavoni’s wrapped body out and, with considerable exertion, lifted the bag over his shoulder. Indifferent to the Coliseum's night lights and cameras, pictures blurred by the downpour, the mysterious man was thinking about body weight. The city’s carelessness about farming out construction on their monuments made everything possible. This man’s specialty was dismantling and dismembering anything and everything. Of course, he could pay a couple of mechanics to do his bidding on a stolen truck. He knew they could be trusted because they owed him money, and owing Guerra money could be a death sentence.
Guerra was surprised the middle-aged man was nearly as light as the young woman had been when he climbed steep stairs inside the Arch of Constantine. Comparing body weights was the straightforward but determined thought process of the man who was immune to risks; a man who knew Webcams would capture his photo, scenes of his crimes, his construction truck. None of the physical evidence mattered because they would not find him or link him to the scene. He had, however, left a conspicuous clue, one designed to confuse authorities. Stapled to Pavoni’s shirt was a note.