“Into the Killer Sphere (Chase Williams detective stories #1)” by Stefania Mattana is a very enjoyable and well written thriller set in a atmospheric medieval-looking city in contemporary Italy.
Chase Williams from the UK is called upon to assist his friend Inspector Angelo Alunni in a case that seems like an accident but highly likely isn’t.
Together the pair combine forensic and personal intelligence to get to the bottom of the case.
The investigation is one wonderful and charming journey through Italian idiosyncrasies with amazing colourful characters.
The plot is cleverly woven and told with attention to detail.
This is a great crime story with a beautiful setting, entertaining but sophisticated enough to distinguish itself from mere beach reads – although it would certainly work as such, too.
“Cutting Right to the Chase” by Stefania Mattana is a selection of several very short crime stories, all rather unusual and very entertaining. With powers of oberservation, wit and some with great humour they describe odd cases and mysteries solved by former British detective Chase Williams, who now lives and works in Italy.
The stories are anecdotal in nature, clever, well told and very worth while reading.
Interview with Stefania:
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.
I am probably one of the very few people in the world who has a nickname with first and last name, Erania Pinnera. My sister’s fault!
I’m turning thirty and I’m happy about it. Some people are afraid of leaving their twenties, I am not! My main passions are reading and running. I’ve been both running and reading since I was six, I guess it’s not a coincidence. I’m a mens sana in corpore sano kind of girl.
If I have to quote a weakness of me I would probably go with the perfectionism mania. Perfection should be a tool to reach a moving target, not an achievement. Sometimes I forget it and I get fussy.
Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I should say my main character, former MET detective Chase Williams, but I will say his friend, Inspector Angelo Alunni. Angelo is Italian, few years older than Chase, single by force of circumstances and with the odd idea that he can attract more girls with a Montalbano-style shaved head.
Angelo is the most lively and irascible side of the partners in crime (Chase always helps Angelo solve murders or mysteries) and I like depicting him as a genuine Italian prototype. And trust me, Italians pull through extremely well.
What would your characters say about you?
They’d probably say that I let them do whatever they want too often! Sometimes it’s like I lose the control of my characters and I end up writing things that subvert my plot – I guess you can understand me, dear Chris.
Maybe my characters would like more discipline from me, but I don’t change this balance until readers keep appreciating my stories and I receive an official complaint by my characters themselves!
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?
I like creating way outs for murderers and triggering reasons that lead normal persons to kill somebody else. This is my most enjoyable point, the way Chase and Angelo will find the truth is pure deduction practice. I like also putting little clues for my readers to help them find the murderers before Chase. I don’t want readers to think they are “inferior” to Chase or Angelo. The perfect murder doesn’t exist and anyone could find the truth, it’s just a matter of method.
Maybe the least part is – paradoxically – reviewing the drafts. Every time I read something I wrote, I see there’s something that needs to be changed, or modified, or that can be improved. No matter if it’s published or not – there’s always a way to write it, show it, tell it better. I mean, that’s good, but sometimes I realise I’m getting too fussy again!
What is your life like outside of writing?
I like running outside, especially on track. I love the smell of the track and the noise of the spikes on it. When I was in Italy I enjoyed long walks with my sister and our dog, I really miss them. Oh, I love dogs, any kind of dogs. If it was for me I’d have a hundred dogs in my home. My partner and I go out quite often in London, discovering the city and enjoying all its wonderful attractions. We are also planning some interesting travels abroad, armed with cameras, good walking shoes and – guess what? – a couple of Kindles in our bags 😉
Hot or cold? Hot!
Salty or sweet? Definitely salty.
What are you working on now?
Pull the Trigger, the first Chase Williams long length novel, is on the fly. It will be out approximately at the beginning of the summer, ready for the beach!
I’m also defining the plot of the next new novel along with two new books for the Cutting Right to the Chase series, as readers really liked both the Volume 1 and the Volume 2. For many reasons I don’t think I’m going to replicate the novella experiment, although Into the Killer Sphere is receiving lots of positive feedbacks, but never say never!
Stefania Mattana is a crime fiction author whose stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, websites and anthologies. Her first self-published short stories collection Cutting Right To The Chase, featuring the former Met Police Detective Chase Williams, was released in June 2013 to great acclaim. She also blogs for Huffington Post UK, her own DailyPinner and other webzines.
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author interview, Book review, Chase Williams, crime fiction, crime Italy, Detective Chase Williams, Italy, Stefania Mattama