Living in Florence in summertime may not be easy but at least it's colourful and bright. A far cry, then, from the grim November setting of A Time of Mourning, Christobel Kent's latest novel, which opens on il giorno dei morti, the day of the dead, when Italians traditionally pay a visit to the graves of their loved ones. Soon comes word of a new death: a distinguished Florentine has committed suicide by drowning himself in the Arno. Even the weather colludes in a growing sense of foreboding. The action takes place in the heaviest rains since the 1966 flood and the Arno is a menacing protagonist, its muddy waters swirling, churning, ever-rising.