The Jewels of Paradise
By Donna Leon
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802120649, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
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Donna Leon has won heaps of critical praise and legions of fans for her best-selling mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. With The Jewels of Paradise, Leon takes readers beyond the world of the Venetian Questura in her first standalone novel.
Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she’s had to leave home to pursue her career. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Manchester, England. Manchester, however, is no Venice. When Caterina gets word of a position back home, she jumps at the opportunity.
The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks, believed to contain the papers of a baroque composer have been discovered. Deeply-connected in religious and political circles, the composer died childless; now two Venetians, descendants of his cousins, each claim inheritance. Caterina’s job is to examine any enclosed papers to discover the testamentary disposition” of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold. From a masterful writer, The Jewels of Paradise is a superb novel, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history and greed.
Donna Leon is the author of eighteen novels featuring Guido Brunetti, all of which have been highly acclaimed, and the winner of the CWA Silver Dagger Award. She has lived in Venice for thirty years.
her first stand-alone
boasts the same sensitivity to human behavior that distinguishes her Guido Brunetti series.”Bill Ott, Booklist
A veteran mystery maven weaves present-day Venice into a 300-year-old puzzle in this engaging stand-alone. [The Jewels of Paradise] packs the charms of Venice into a smart whodunit.”Kirkus Reviews