Lead Review

  • Book: The Hunting Season
  • Location: Bologna
  • Author: Tom Benjamin

Review Author: Tina Hartas



This is the second outing for PI Daniel Leicester, who lives with his daughter and father-in-law in the city of Bologna. It is truffle season and truffles are big business and, of course, where there is money, there is criminal activity. The whole industry behind this exquisite and valuable fungus is fascinating. Emilia Romagna is the centre for snuffling truffles in Italy but burgeoning operations in Eastern Europe complicate the whole picture.

Daniel is tasked with trying to track down Ryan Lee, who is a super taster, someone whose palate is in great demand. He is in town for the truffles but has gone missing. He has clearly visited some restaurants because there seems to be a trail of delicate origami figures left in his wake.

There is a murder and soon Daniel is being invited onto a TV show to discuss the mayhem in the city but the chemistry between him and the host of the show certainly complicates things. He himself is then charged with murder himself!

One of the distinct characters in the novel is setting and I will guarantee that, after reading this novel, Bologna will be added to your ‘must visit’ list. Tom Benjamin revels in the city that he has made his home and you can just feel the pleasure he takes in sharing with his readers the little details and observations – just lovely, perfect for literary tourism!. He adds such colour, taking his characters through the porticoes and to the towers and Roman remains, the city’s history, the little lanes, and to the restaurants in ‘Food City’ to whet your appetite. And if you follow Tom on Insta, you will be charmed by the wonderful photos he takes that will further add to your craving to visit. I do hope the Bologna Tourist Board appreciates what he does for the city.

This is a very readable series and already I am looking forward to number 3.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

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Entries close 6th November 2021