Summary

No, not another of Leons engaging mysteries starring Commissario Guido Brunetti but a stand-alone novel-though its still set in Venice. Baroque opera expert Caterina Pellegrini has returned home to oversee the opening of two just-discovered trunks containing the effects (and maybe a fortune?) of a baroque composer who once reigned supreme. Lovely to see Leon spread her wings, and she writes persuasively about music; a related CD recorded by a world-famous singer is in the works.


In The Jewels of Paradise, the protagonist, Caterina, is a music professor in her thirties, in a dead end job teaching first year music theory at a conservatory in Manchester. When she's offered a temporary position in her hometown of Venice, she doesn't ask questions, she just jumps at the opportunity. Everything about the new job is a little off. The institute she will be working at doesn't seem to have any purpose and the lawyer who represents her clients is a little too smooth, even for a lawyer. Her assignment doesn't seem entirely plausible - examine the papers in two 300-year-old trunks for clues as to which of the two claimants should get the contents.