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Author of the Daniel Leicester mysteries


Tom began his career as a reporter in north London before becoming a spokesman for Scotland Yard. He went on to work in international aid and public health before moving to Bologna with his Italian wife. Tom's first job in Bologna as a doorman at a homeless canteen exposed him to an Italy less travelled and helped inspire his debut A Quiet Death In Italy. This was followed in 2021 by food-themed The Hunting Season, 2022's Requiem in la Rossa, which explores Bologna's rich musical and educational heritage, and Italian Rules or The Three Endings of Toni Fausto, in 2024. 

English detective Daniel Leicester walks the shadowy porticoes of ‘the red city’ in a series that evokes the beauty of Bologna but doesn’t spare her blushes. Expect equal servings of the local cuisine and ubiquitous graffiti as Daniel unravels the mystery of modern-day Italy with dogged determination and dry wit.  

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May, 2024

An unexpected bequest, a final reckoning...


When an old man makes a bequest to investigate the mysterious death of his son, English detective Daniel Leicester follows a trail leading to one of Bologna's wealthiest families - makers of some of the world's most coveted supercars. He soon discovers that beneath the glitz and glamour of the Formula One circuit lurk certain people, with sinister interests, who may just be prepared to kill to keep their secrets. 

'Excellent! This time, English detective Daniel Leicester takes us on a hairpin ride through the glamorous, perilous world of Formula One. An absorbing portrayal of what happens when wealth, rivalry and corruption collide, this is a compelling read from a writer who knows Italy inside out and is at the top of his game.'
Eleni Kyriacou, author of The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou, selected for BBC 2 Between the Covers Book Club 2023

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May, 2023

When Hollywood comes to Bologna, La Dolce Vita turns sweet murder...


A famous Hollywood director arrives in Bologna to remake a cult film and the city's renown cinema archive decides to mark the occasion with a screening of the original, only to discover it has disappeared.
After English detective Daniel Leicester follows the trail of Love on a Razorblade to an apparent murder-suicide, he begins to suspect there may be more at stake than missing negatives - could the film contain a clue to one of the city's most enduring mysteries? Together with a star from the forthcoming remake, Daniel moves from the glamour of Venice Lido to the depths of Bologna's secret tunnel system as a sinister network closes in and he learns some people are ready to kill for the ultimate director's cut.

'There are two major stars in this book, the laconic private eye Daniel Leicester and the city of Bologna itself. Tom Benjamin mixes these ingredients perfectly making Italian Rules a really great read.'

Ian Moore, author of DEATH AND CROISSANTS



May, 2022

In the sweltering heat of a Bologna summer, a murderer plans their pièce de résistance...

Only in Bologna reads the headline in the Carlino after a professor of music is apparently murdered leaving the opera. But what looks like an open-and-shut case begins to fall apart when English detective Daniel Leicester is tasked with getting the accused man off, and a trail that begins among Bologna's close-knit classical music community leads him to suspect there may be a serial killer at large in the oldest university in the world. And as Bologna trembles with aftershocks following a recent earthquake, the city begins to give up her secrets.

'Devoured it. Great characters and brilliant use of the history and architecture of Bologna. His best yet.' 

Trevor Wood.

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May, 2021

Death stalks the Italian wilderness

It's truffle season and in the hills around Bologna the hunt is on for the legendary Boscuri White, the golden nugget of Italian gastronomy. But when an American truffle 'supertaster' goes missing, English detective Daniel Leicester discovers not all truffles are created equal. Did the missing supertaster bite off more than he could chew?

As he goes on the hunt for Ryan Lee, Daniel discovers the secrets behind 'Food City', from the immigrant kitchen staff to the full scale of a multi-million Euro business. After a key witness is found dead at the foot of one of Bologna's famous towers, the stakes could not be higher. Daniel teams up with a glamorous TV reporter, but the deeper he goes into the disappearance of the supertaster the darker things become. Murder is once again on the menu, but this time Daniel himself stands accused. And the only way he can clear his name is by finding Ryan Lee...

'A cleverly constructed plot, at once romantic and threatening, promotes Tom Benjamin to the first division of crime writers' 

Daily Mail

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May, 2020

Bologna: city of secrets, suspicion . . . and murder

When the body of a radical protestor is found floating in one of Bologna's underground canals, private investigator Daniel Leicester receives a call from the dead man's lover and follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day political establishment.

Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and English detective Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption - before he is caught in it himself.

The locale is brought to life, the characters come formed by their environment and history, and the plot keeps you guessing - even when you think you know what's coming. The Times

Benjamin gloriously evokes the porticoes and palazzos of the medieval city, along with its radical tradition and the corruption in the police, in a slow-burning, tense and brooding thriller which boasts the atmosphere and attention to detail that could only spring from a genuine love of the location. The Herald Scotland



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