Caterina Pellegrini is a young Venetian musicologist hired by two competing cousins to find the truthful heir to an alleged treasure concealed by a once-famous, but now almost forgotten, baroque composer. Sworn to secrecy, Caterina can solve the mystery only by searching through the papers contained in the composer’s two chests that have not been opened for centuries. As she delves into all quarters of his life, from professional to personal, she is drawn into one of the most scandalous affairs of the baroque era. When her research takes her in unexpected directions, she begins to wonder what dark secrets these chests hold and just whom can she trust?
"Donna Leon’s skill with intrigue, clues and suspicion and suspense means that even the most ardent Brunetti devotee ought to find this book a good read." (Jessica Mann, Literary Review )
“a splendid mystery surrounding the inheritance of an obscure baroque composer… Full of authentic details and wittily recounted (Caterina’s sojourn at a British university with its badly dressed scholars is a joy), Leon’s 22nd novel has a freshness which indicates her delight in the subject.” (Jane Jakeman, Independent)
“a fascinating study of greed, folly and how the most Machiavellian plots ultimately come to naught.” (Guardian)
"Written with all Leon’s elegant delicacy combined with her ability to reveal the truth almost without your noticing, this is a little gem of a book, immersed as it is in Leon’s own love for the baroque." (Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail)
"[it has] all the ingredients of a zippy historical mystery in an intriguing new genre…Leon seamlessly interweaves the Italian cultural heritage into her story, and hasn’t lost her feeling for everydaylife." (The Spectator)
"Jewels of Paradise demonstrates the author’s deep understanding of Venice, and is an entertaining work that questions the changing values of life over the ages. Like life, it makes you wait to the end to understand the plot." (Selected by Lord Browne (former Chief Executive of BP) as his summer read in the Financial Times)
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For the love of Venice
- Chris Underhill