In the early spring of 2020, Italy went in total lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation was dramatic in the cities, and the body-count skyrocketed, the countryside had it relatively light. It’s just a matter of waiting for the curve to flatten.
Holed up in his battered trailer in the old junkyard outside of Nizza Monferrato, Buscafusco is set to weather the pandemic with a big stash of old paperbacks, a selection of jazz records, and some prime provisions for his lonely dinners. Quiet and relax at last, at least for a while.
But trouble, just like rust, never sleeps.
And now everybody’s wearing a mask.
BUSCAFUSCO: Health & Safety
A global pandemic is not enough to keep a good man down.
April crawled into the hills of Astigianistan, bringing rainstorms and a preview of the summer’s heat and humidity, and everybody was suddenly feeling the desperate need to hug somebody, or go out for a drink with some hypothetical friends or, missing that, to call someone on the telephone and waste their time.
“What are you having for dinner?”
Matilde Ciambotti’s voice was tired, and raw. The voice of someone that’s done too much face time over the web.
“Bacon fraze,” I said.
I placed the bowl with the batter on the table by the phone, and looked around for the spatula.
“Sounds unhealthy,” she said.
“I don’t care for the sound, I’m here for the taste.”
“Very funny,” she said. She did not sound amused.
“What do you need?”
“A vacation,” she replied.
“Don’t we all…”
The fourth Buscafusco novella features two intertwined cases for the only man the hill tribes fear.