In the first book in the internationally bestselling Guido Brunetti detective series, a high society murder leads Guido to investigate the darker side of beautiful Venice. Now available as a limited Olive Edition from Harper Perennial.
There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice.
But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one.
“Donna Leon’s Venetian mysteries never disappoint, calling up the romantic sights and sounds of La Serenissima even as they acquaint us with the practical matters that concern the city’s residents.” — Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“[A] piquant mixture of opera, food and Venetian scenery.” — Chicago Tribune
“Guido Brunetti can ride in my gondola anytime. What a splendid detective.” — Susan Isaacs, author of After All These Years
“Donna Leon has given fans of subtle, clever and literate mysteries something to cheer about...A wonderful read.” — Tony Hillerman
“What a gripping first mystery, as beguiling and secretly sinister as Venice herself. Sparkling and irresistible.” — Rita Mae Brown
“A challenging mystery, a sophisticated drama, and a unique glimpse of a medieval society that stilll flourishes.” — St Louis Post-Dispatch
“[B]reathless...lively launch of a series.” — Publishers Weekly