Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
It is not often that you find a book that combines essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean food, and noir fiction. But in the late Jean-Claude Izzo’s book Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil you have a collection of essays that connect all three together.
All three of these things were essential to Izzo. He is best known for his Marseilles trilogy and of course is widely credited to be the founder of Mediterranean noir. Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil is split into three sections and begins with an introduction by Massimo Carlotto. The first section covers the Mediterranean and what it means to him.
Part two has essays on what he sees as his Marseilles along with his fears and hopes for his beloved city. He also writes about food! Mint, Garlic and Basil to name a few and also music. The final part of the book covers the character Fabio Montale.
This is an excellent book to dip in and out of and in my opinion it is to be savoured. It is such a shame that Izzo is no longer alive as readers of Mediterranean noir have lost not only an exciting author but also a purveyor of all things dark, broody and noir!