Bloxam, M.F. The Night Battles (Sag Harbor, N.Y.: Permanent Press, c2008) 240 p.
The Biblioteca Comunale in Valparuta, Sicily has found a treasure of old archives thanks to a recent earthquake. The librarian is Cosimo Chiesa. He is an elderly drug addict but an astute librarian. Like many in the town he leaves his body on certain nights to do battle over the survival of the year's crops. An American researcher visits.
So I search the library's old card catalogue, a huge mahogany chest on bulbous Empire legs that fronts the Reference section. It's like returning to the elegant old gentleman who first seduced you as a girl, going back to a card catalogue. Its smell, its genteel workings still stir you like no searchable database can. The cards are going brown on their edges; they've been rolled into a manual typewriter, typed laboriously, and corrected by hand. There's a story to each. You hook your finger in each drawer's brass pull and it slides out with a pleasurable groan. (p. 59-60).
She finds suspicious entries in the catalog.