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.

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.