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Meet Serafina Florio, a widowed midwife-turned-sleuth living in nineteenth-century Sicily. She lived the first part of her life in Oltramari, a fictional city near Palermo. Her father, a visiting professor at the University of Turin, died in the January 1848 revolution; her mother, a midwife, perished in the cholera epidemic of 1865. In 1847, Serafina married Giorgio Florio, the apothecary’s oldest son, who, like Serafina, was a member of the merchant class. After marriage, Serafina remained a midwife, refining her skills, delivering healthy babies. In 1866—a horrific year in Sicily’s history—three prostitutes were knifed to death, their foreheads gouged with a strange, spiraling … [Read More...]