An Innocent Vampire

Danilo Mainardi

€ 14,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Pages: 208
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-277-1

Marzio Lavetti, a fifty year-old university professor, is really fed up with academic life. Paper-work, meetings and scheduling courses will end up killing him with boredom. The only way out is a sabbatical year to immerge himself in the only activity that still thrills him: studying animal behaviour in the field, especially Desmodus rotundus, the vampire bat that lives in Florida, in small colonies. But when he lands in the States, Marzio finds out that his friend and American colleague, Paolino, who was going to be his host, had been struck by an illness as unexpected as it is fatal, a rare form of fulminating encephalitis. It’s a strange death, as strange as the death of a small bat that Marzio finds in his room one night, the corpse still warm.

The illustrious professor decides to get to the bottom of things. He gets Agnese, a charming and volcanic Neapolitan ethologist, involved in his investigation. Agnese adores buffaloes and Pino Daniele. The two “detectives by chance” find themselves at the heart of a dark intrigue involving an entire department of the University of Pointsville in Florida.

A department where no one – envious professors, unscrupulous researchers, obscure assistants – seems innocent. And what’s at stake is the honour of the little Desmodus blood sucker that traditional investigative methods indicate as the number one suspect. Trace after trace, experiment after experiment, Marzio and Agnese get to the truth of the matter. A totally unexpected truth. Once again, absolutely delicious animals and infinitely less delightful humans are at the heart of Danilo Mainardi’s “ethological mystery” which, in this case, is also an affectionate «reparation» of the reputation of a creature reviled by ignorant and superstitious people.

The author
Danilo Mainardi, ethologist, ecologist and an expert in popularizing science, is professor emeritus of Behavioural Ecology at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and head of the International School of Ethology in Erice. He is honorary president of the LIPU (Italian League for Protection of Birds), member of various academies and societies like the National Academy of Sciences (dei Quaranta) and the International Ethological Society of which he was president. He writes for Corriere della Sera and Il Sole-24 Ore, and is a regular on Piero Angela’s TV programme Superquark. Cairo Editore has published his non-fiction works Nella mente degli animali (2006; 5th edition), La bella zoologia (2008), L’intelligenza degli animali (2009) and his “ethological mystery”, the novel L’acchiappacolombi (2008).

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