“Murder In Matera: A True Story Of Passion, Family, And Forgiveness In Southern Italy”
A trip to Southern Italy in order to solve a mystery of murder involving her great-great-grandmother Vita becomes an account of passion, family, food, and forgiveness for Helene. She captures perfectly the “simultaneous beauty and sadness” of Matera — the instep in the boot of Italy — its midday heat (like “stepping into a pizza oven”), its brutalizing poverty and superstition, its stark, if accidental, symbolism.
On her way to the Crypt of the Original Sin, she pauses at the cave dwellings where the poorest of the poor once lived. They “resembled a collection of skulls, all looking out into the distance.”
Murder In Matera is a mystery with in-depth investigative reporting and a travelogue of Southern Italy.