Marco Malvaldi

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Marco Malvaldi
Marco Malvaldi in 2012
Born (1974-01-27) 27 January 1974 (age 49)
NationalityItaly Italian
Known fordetective stories set in Tuscany

Marco Malvaldi (born 27 January 1974, in Pisa) is an Italian[1] crime writer.

Short biography[edit]

Marco Malvaldi is an Italian chemist and novelist, who began his writing career in 2007 with his first mystery story La briscola in cinque (Game for Five, 2014), published by the Italian Sellerio Editore and featuring Massimo, the barista and owner of the cleverly named BarLume ("Bar Light", also a wordplay for "flicker, glimmer of light") who is forced into the role of investigator in the fictional seaside resort town of Pineta, along the Tuscan coast. He followed up by other episodes in the series: Il gioco delle tre carte (2008, transl. Three-card Monte, 2014), Il re dei giochi (The King of Games) (2010), La carta più alta (The Highest Card) (2012).[2] Another novel of his, Odore di chiuso (The Scent of Must) (Sellerio, October 2011), a historical mystery with the renowned Romagna gastronomist Pellegrino Artusi as the amateur detective in 19th century Italy, was awarded the Isola d’Elba Award and the Castiglioncello Prize. This book was published in English under the title The Art of Killing Well (2014). In October 2011, Malvaldi also published a guidebook about his own hometown Pisa, with the title Scacco alla Torre (Checkmate to the Tower) (Felici Editore): one of the book's first stories is Finalmente soli (Finally Alone), narrating of a nocturnal walk, inspired by an image taken by professional photographer Nicola Ughi, Malvaldi's official portraitist and fellow citizen; the book was presented at the Pisa Book Festival.[3]

The image of Pisa by night, which inspired the story Finalmente soli.

The four books comprising the BarLume series, have the same characters in each episode: the barista Massimo, the four aged regular patrons (Massimo's grandfather Ampelio, Aldo, Rimediotti, and Del Tacca – often speaking in the local Tuscan dialect), obtuse Inspector Fusco, and sexy bar assistant Tiziana.[4] At end of October 2012, Malvaldi published a mystery thriller, Milioni di milioni (Millions of Millions) (2012), set in the fictional Tuscan town of Montesodi Marittimo, and with its main personages an odd couple of investigators – a university geneticist and a female archivist.[5]

In July 2013 he was awarded the Italian literary prize "Premio letterario La Tore Isola d'Elba".[6]

Malvaldi authored also books of popular science. His book Le due teste del tiranno. Metodi matematici per la libertà (namely, The Two Heads of the Tyrant. Mathematical Methods for the Freedom) (2017) won the third edition (2018) of Premio ASIMOV (Asimov award) for the best book in scientific dissemination published in Italy, in ex aequo with Helen Czerski's Storm in a Teacup.

Selected bibliography[edit]

(It. orig. only)

  • La briscola in cinque, 2007, Sellerio Editore
  • Il gioco delle tre carte, 2008, Sellerio Editore
  • Il re dei giochi, 2010, Sellerio Editore
  • Odore di chiuso, 2011, Sellerio Editore
  • "Sol levante e pioggia battente", 2011, on RCS Quotidiani - Corriere della Sera (short story)
  • Short story in the Un Natale in giallo (A Xmas in Yellow) Anthology, 2011, Sellerio Editore
  • La carta più alta, 2012, Sellerio Editore
  • Milioni di milioni, 2012, Sellerio Editore
  • Argento vivo, 2013, Sellerio Editore
  • Il telefono senza fili, 2014, Sellerio Editore
  • La famiglia Tortilla, 2014, EDT
  • La battaglia navale, 2016, Sellerio Editore
  • A bocce ferme, 2018, Sellerio Editore


  • Game for Five, Europa Editions, 2014
  • Three-card Monte, Europa Editions, 2014
  • The Art of Killing Well, MacLehose Press, 2014


  1. ^ Cf. Biographical Interview, on Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian) URL accessed on 3 December 2012
  2. ^ Cf. Author's Biography on URL accessed on 3 December 2012
  3. ^ Cf. stampa "La Pisa di Malvaldi sul Tirreno", on Felici Editore. URL accessed on 3 December 2012
  4. ^ Cf. "Malvaldi, il chimico-romanziere - L' ultima rivelazione di Elvira Sellerio", on Corriere della Sera URL accessed on 3 December 2012
  5. ^ Marco Malvaldi (2012). "Milioni di milioni". (in Italian). Sellerio. Retrieved 21 May 2015. Milioni di milioni è un'investigazione all'inglese basata su labili indizi messi in fila con paziente intelligenza; ma l'ambientazione è toscana, spaccona e popolaresca, come gli altri gialli del creatore dei vecchietti del BarLume.
  6. ^ La Tore Isola d'Elba Official Website, List of Winners (by year).

External links[edit]