Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: B » Bellini and the Sphinx

Bellini and the Sphinx


The highly entertaining debut crime-fiction novel from Brazilian music icon and best-selling author Bellotto is finally published in English.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Included in CrimeReads’s list of February’s Best International Crime Fiction

Included in Chicago Review of Books’s list of Winter’s Best Thrillers

Included in CBC Radio’s The Homestretch’s Fall 2019 Mystery Selections

Bellini and the Sphinx is the American debut for the wildly popular Sao Paulo-based crime series written by Bellotto, the celebrated Brazilian guitarist and writer. His private eye, Remo Bellini, is a conscious homage to Philip Marlowe and the classic noir American detectives, but with an identity all his own and a milieu, the streets of Sao Paulo, that are as alive and mysterious as any you’ll come across in the genre. American readers have waited too long for this, but they’ll finally get the chance to visit Brazil through Bellotto/Bellini’s eyes.”
Literary Hub, included in Literary Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2019

One of CrimeReads’s Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019

“Originally published in Portuguese in 1995, Bellotto’s series opener introduces Remo Bellini, a private eye in the tradition of Spade and Marlowe but distinctively Brazilian . . . Bellotto’s detective, less ironic and more earnest in his angst than his American counterparts, proves a compelling guide to the passionate world of São Paulo.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Previously published in Brazilian rock musician Bellotto’s native country, the São Paolo–set noir follows private detective Remo Bellini, who is investigating the disappearance of several women connected to the underworld and the related murder of a famed surgeon. Bellotto says he modeled his PI on Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and that the plot, which involves prostitutes and live-sex performers, evokes two classically intertwined themes: sex and death.”
Publishers Weekly

“Private detective Remo Bellini plunges into the underworld of São Paulo in search of missing dancer at the behest of her married lover, a renowned surgeon, who soon turns up dead.”
Publishers Weekly, Spring 2019 Announcements/Mysteries & Thrillers

“The dialogue and interactions between [Remo and Dora Loba] are fantastic, and lent some much-needed lightness to the story. Both of these characters are well-drawn and thoughtful, so I do hope that these books continue to be translated for us English readers.”
I’ve Read This

“Bellini is a classic private eye, having fallen into the career from a failed attempt at the law . . . If a reader were interested in knowing what hard-boiled detective fiction is all about, this would be a good place to start.”
The Cyberlibrarian

Bellini and the Sphinx is an enjoyable light ride, with enough variety to keep readers interested.”
The Complete Review

“Tony Bellotto has written his novel in the best noir tradition. The book, in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, grips the reader from beginning to surprising end. Bellini and the Sphinx is a landmark in Western crime fiction.”
—Paulo Lins, author of City of God

“Bellotto is one hell of a writer. With an elegant and quick narrative voice, he reaches a pinnacle of excellence and originality that’s hard to find around here.”
—Reinaldo Moraes, author of Pornopopéia

“If Marlowe and Harry Bosch are Los Angeles, Matt Scudder is New York and Maigret, Paris, the detective Remo Bellini is São Paulo’s most complete translation.”
O Globo


Who is the missing dancer Ana Cíntia Lopes? Why did her coworkers, Camila and Dinéia, disappear? What does the voluptuous prostitute Fatima want? Who killed renowned surgeon Dr. Samuel Rafidjian? And what is the role of the hulking live-sex performer known as the Indian?

To confront the puzzle of several sphinxes, most of them female, private detective Remo Bellini plunges into the underworld of São Paulo. Little by little, the mysteries unravel in a surprising fashion, until the solving of the final enigma leaves Bellini perplexed, with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Translated from Brazilian Portuguese into English by Clifford E. Landers.

Read an excerpt from Bellini and the Sphinx at Literal Magazine.

Listen to an interview with Tony Bellotto at DIYMFA.

Read an excerpt from Bellini and the Sphinx at CrimeReads.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Published: 2/5/19
  • IBSN: 9781617756627
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756900


TONY BELLOTTO is the author of the best-selling Bellini mystery novels, which have been released as major feature films and translated widely, establishing him as the preeminent writer of Brazilian detective fiction. He is also a guitarist and songwriter for the famed Brazilian rock band Titãs (the Titans), which has released twenty albums and sold over six million copies. Bellotto writes for the newspaper O Globo and hosts a television show. He is the editor of Rio Noir and São Paulo Noir, both published by Akashic Books. Bellini and the Sphinx is his latest release with Akashic.

More info »