If you are a crime lover, you will love Inspector Ricciardi!

Inspector Ricciardi has an unusual story and a very special ability. What would you do if you discovered as a child that you could see the last moments and hear the last words of the victims of murders or accidents?

Probably you would become a police inspector and try to give justice to those who lacked it in the very end of their life. That’s what happens to the chief inspector Ricciardi, the protagonist of series of crime novels by Maurizio De Giovanni. These novels recently became a successful TV serie with Lino Guanciale, a popular Italian actor.

Chief inspector Ricciardi is a young man, coming from a noble family, with dark brown hair and vivid green eyes, righteous and fair.

He does not care for his career since what he truly seeks is justice for the victims he keeps seeing. His particular gift haunts him and because of this special ability, that Ricciardi calls the Fact, he is a loner, a bit gloomy, with few friends and a love life quite complicated.

What makes Ricciardi so special?

He doesn’t like to go to the theatre and eat beans, but he’s a big fan of pizza and loves to have breakfast at the very famous bar Gambrinus in the city center, having coffee and a “sfogliatella”.

Ricciardi is convinced that behind every crime there are always two reasons: love or hunger, the two essential needs of human nature. He is very careful and attentive, he wants to consider every little aspect of every crime, to make sure of giving true justice to the victim and not to ruin the life of another innocent person.

This might seem quite an expected behaviour for a police chief inspector, but those were the 1930s, in Italy Fascism was strong and powerful and making justice wasn’t always about catching the real criminal.

inspector ricciardi


The stories are set in the south of Italy, in Naples, an extraordinary scenery for an extraordinary character. Naples lives the usual contradictions, it’s vulgar and aristocratic, popular and sophisticated, very rich and extremely poor. We go around the city along with Ricciardi visiting its superb monuments and its darkest corners.

The city, its landscapes and its main squares and buildings as well as the narrowest streets are always so important, so present in each story, that we can easily say it’s like a co-protagonist.

The characters are very different from one another and no one is as simple and black and white as he could seem. Every person is described with his good and bad feelings.

Even the weather in De Giovanni’s books plays a very important part. The first series of novels is actually called “the seasons of Chief inspector Ricciardi”: every season corresponds to a different story and even the constant feeling that Ricciardi and the reader feel is the one most currently associated to that particular season.

So, if you feel like discovering a mystery in a mysterious city, following the steps of a mysterious policeman haunted by a mysterious gift, all you have to do is open a De Giovanni’s book and lose yourself in the pages of a very engaging novel with the south of Italy as scenery.

Either if you want to read the books or watch the TV serie, you will love Inspector Ricciardi!


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