Back to Bologna

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Back to Bologna
First edition
AuthorMichael Dibdin
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesAurelio Zen series, #10
GenreCrime, Mystery novel
PublisherFaber and Faber
Publication date
August 4, 2005
Media typePrint (Hardback, Paperback)
Pages176pp (hardback) 240pp (paperback)
823.914 22
LC ClassPR6054.I26 B33 2005
Preceded byMedusa 
Followed byEnd Games 

Back to Bologna is a novel by Michael Dibdin, and is the tenth entry in the popular Aurelio Zen series.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


Zen, an Italian police detective, is on sick leave after a stomach operation and is feeling a shadow of himself. His relationship with his partner, Gemma, is also not going well. She is about to leave for Bologna to meet her son who has something important to tell her.

Meanwhile, Zen is recalled to duty and is sent to be the liaison officer for a high-profile murder investigation - in Bologna – where the local football team owner has been shot, as well as stabbed with a Parmesan knife.

Whilst in Bologna, Gemma manages to get tickets to watch a live cook-off between local academic celebrity Edgardo Ugo and singing TV chef Romano Rinaldi, 'Lo Chef Che Canta e Incanta', provoked by Ugo suggesting, in a newspaper article, that Lo Chef can't cook. A series of coincidences leads to Zen being arrested when Ugo is found shot in the wake of the hilariously disastrous event.

The other main characters include a couple of flatmates – a student of Ugo's and a rich kid who fancies himself an 'Ultra' football fan – and the student's illegal immigrant girlfriend, who calls herself Princess Flavia of Ruritanian, as well as the world's worst private detective, who fancies himself a Chandleresque Private Eye.

This is Zen at the centre of a black comedy.


  1. ^ "Back to Bologna (Aurelio Zen #10)". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Back to Bologna: An Aurelio Zen Mystery". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Back to Bologna". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  4. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Michael Dibdin, 60, Detective Novelist, Is Dead". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Review - Back to Bologne by Michael Dibdin". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  6. ^ Thomson, Ian. "Italy's gastro-erotic heart". Retrieved 15 December 2013.