Short, Sharp Interview: Ilaria Meliconi of Hersilia Press

PDB: What is Hersilia Press ?

It’s a small company trying to bring Italian crime fiction to a wider, English-speaking audience. Unlike some big companies, we focus on quality and don’t necessarily go for the big names, but for the books we like. Having said that, some of our authors like Giorgio Scerbanenco have been bestsellers for a while, while others, like Maurizio de Giovanni, have now become so!

PDB: Who are the criminal masterminds behind Hersilia Press?

It’s mainly me, Ilaria Meliconi. After degrees in astronomy and history of science, my work background is in publishing so I look after the editorial side while Alberto does the technbetrayalical side of things – website, epub and so on.

PDB: Which authors are involved in Hersilia Press

A number of very different authors: from Giorgio Scerbanenco, considered one of the founding fathers of Italian crime fiction and writing in the 1960s, to Maurizio de Giovanni, now a bestseller author sold all over of Europe and the US.

PDB: Which books have been published so far?

There’s Inspector Cataldo’s Criminal Summer, set in the Emilia Romagna region (where I’m from) in a small holiday village on the Apennines, Blood Sisters set in a foggy and wintry Bergamo in the north of Italy, I Will Have Vengeance set in an atmospheric 1930s Naples, In a Heartbeat, more on the hardboiled style and set in Milan in the eighties, A Private Venus and Betrayal both set in 1960s Milan.

PDB: Where can we find out more about Hersilia Press?

On the website.

PDB: Is there anything else you think we should know about Hersilia Press?

Have a look at the catalogue on and whatever your taste you’ll find something that you like. Regardless of what language a book was originally written in, if the translation is good (and ours are good!) a good book is a good book – they’ll take you to a different place and time, in different styles of writing and plotting, and that’s what books are for!