The Lives and Deaths of K. Penza

Clare Azzopardi


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Praspar Press
25 November 2022
ISBN: 9781739994839
282 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Albert Gatt

There’s more than one way to skin a rabbit . . .

When Amanda’s father dies, she feels compelled to visit Emma, the mother who abandoned her when she was still a child. Now with a family of her own, it feels urgent to Amanda that she investigate the silence surrounding her mother leaving, but also the death of her mother’s twin sister Cathy, a.k.a. K. Penza, the cult author of the Inspector Castillo crime novels, who was killed by a bomb during the violent and murky political climate of Malta in the 1980s.

Clare Azzopardi’s meta-detective novel irresistibly weaves the sleuthing of Amanda and Inspector Castillo, inviting the reader to unmask the real Cathy, Catherine, Kitty, K. Penza.

‘This novel is many things, but at its root is a desire to express the ever-relevant – and now sadly ever-topical – helplessness we feel when faced with endemic corruption and apparently sanctified violence [ . . . ] Here’s hoping it’s translated thick, wide and fast.’
—Teodor Reljić