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The Taste of Datura

by Lorenzo Petruzziello

April 2 – 26, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


The Taste of Datura by Lorenzo Petruzziello

An alluring affair in Napoli.

Nick seeks the value of an antique bracelet in his possession. He encounters Laura, an amateur medium cursed by uncontrollable visions. With Laura’s help, Nick closes in on the origin of his treasure. But as the word gets out, the quest puts them both in danger.

A noir-inspired story ensnared by mystery, myth, and murder; all under a watchful eye shadowing Italy’s vibrant city of Napoli.

Praise for The Taste of Datura:

“A thrilling mystery that combines Italian history and international intrigue.”
~ Kirkus Reviews

Partners in Crime Presents: Lorenzo Petruzziello

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction. Noir. Crime.
Published by: Magnusmade
Publication Date: April 2, 2024
Number of Pages: 370
ISBN: 9781735065441 (ISBN10: 1735065447)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads | Magnusmade

Read an excerpt:


Naples, Italy
December 1890

The crisp breeze trickled in from the bay, across the piazza, through the narrow buildings, and brushed along the back of the neck of the elderly German archaeologist. He was determined to have his afternoon walk through the Spanish Quarter. Being out of the hotel room and in the open air made him feel a lot better.

He’ll get back to Athens soon enough. Sure, he should have been celebrating the holidays, surrounded by his family and fellow archaeologists, but his health kept him from continuing on his journey. A special gift he bought in Naples was ready to be picked up, so he wanted to go get it and bring it with him to Athens. He imagined showing the piece to everyone waiting for him. If only his infection hadn’t come back, he would have been allowed to take the ship to Greece and be in Athens for Christmas as he had planned.

But being stuck in Naples was a consolation, though. While he had spent some of the time in bed recovering, he had made the most of his time until the doctors could clear him to continue on his travels. For example, he was able to return to Pompeii and examine the ruins with more detail—something one cannot do during the summer holiday with the influx of tourists crowding around.

So, he couldn’t really complain. After all, he was absolutely fine staying in the comforts of the wonderous and luxurious Grand Hotel, with its incredible view of the bay. Not a bad place to recover from his lung infection.

As Christmas was getting closer, the visits from the doctors had diminished. Of course, the old man understood doctors had families too. Besides, they did see improvement in his condition, and said they would check in on him after the holiday.

When he was feeling better, he bathed and dressed and focused his time on visiting the artifacts in the museums of Naples, including that excursion to museum and ruins of Pompeii. On Christmas Day, however, the museums were closed, so the old man had agreed to participate in the hotel’s abundant holiday lunch with other guests. The staff were kind enough to understand his condition and seat him alone at a private table, so he didn’t risk getting anyone else sick.

After the meal, he had decided to take a walk to the church. A young concierge procured the old man a driver as he helped him put on his coat and handed him his gloves and hat.

As he walked across the front gardens and onto the main street along the bay, the old man greeted the staff and some of the other guests he had met while he was stuck recovering in the hotel. He looked at the water, took a deep breath, and allowed the crisp, salty air to fill his lungs, immediately feeling the renowned healing powers of the Mediterranean Sea.

He turned away from the bay and crossed back to the car that was waiting to take him to Piazza Plebiscito. It was not his destination, but he figured he’d take a walk to the church he had in mind. He was somewhat familiar with the area, but not enough to take himself directly to the church. It was not a problem, though, he knew he’d find it strolling around.

He asked the driver to return in a couple of hours, then walked across the round piazza, onto Via Toledo. Halfway up the climbing street, he felt his body become weaker than his ambition. He forced himself to slow his steps as he continued his climb.

He paused at a shop window and admired the Christmas decorations. Really, he felt his heartbeat racing and needed to catch his breath. He needed to rest. He examined the miniature figurines displayed in a religious scene, finally presented with the miracle baby they had been eagerly awaiting. Ignoring the reflection of his old face staring back at him, he looked away and saw a clearing further ahead.

Deducing it to be another piazza, he would rest at a café and sort out his route to the church. He gathered his strength and continued on. He reached piazza Santa Caritá and looked around for any open café. He felt the space spinning as he turned and turned. His head felt numb, the sounds around him were garbled, as if underwater. He blinked heavily before everything turned to black…


Excerpt from The Taste of Datura by Lorenzo Petruzziello. Copyright 2024 by Lorenzo Petruzziello. Reproduced with permission from Lorenzo Petruzziello. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Lorenzo Petruzziello

Lorenzo holds degrees in International Marketing and Economics, with a background in global marketing for the entertainment and life sciences industries. He writes in his spare time, drawing inspiration from his frequent trips to Italy, his first dating back to his childhood. THE TASTE OF DATURA is Lorenzo’s third book.

Catch Up With Lorenzo Petruzziello:
BookBub – @LorenzoMagnus
Instagram – @lorenzomagnus



Tour Participants:


Tour Host Info:

Book Formats: ePub, Print
Hosting Options: Review, Interview, Guest Post, Showcase
Giveaway: There will be a tour-wide PICT Giveaway
More: According to the author The Taste of Datura does not include: Excessive Strong Language, Graphic Violence, Explicit Sexual Scenes, or Rape. However, readers may encounter content that is considered to be another trigger situation. Generally the content is considered to be: Steamy Clean (mild language, mild sexual tension and innuendo, no sex scenes) content. At this time, PICT staff have not yet read this book and cannot give additional information.



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