Book review: The Jewels of Paradise, By Donna Leon


The author of over 20 Commissario Brunetti mysteries, Leon has written a first standalone novel.

Also set in Venice, it's the story of a young musicologist, Caterina Pellegrini, hired to find the heir to a treasure concealed by a once-famous Baroque composer.

While it's unnerving to be braving the city's murkier alleyways without the reassuring presence of Brunetti, this intriguing and atmospheric tale soon takes hold.

As ever, Leon serves up authentic historical detail with plenty of witty storytelling. Caterina's short stint as a lecturer at a British university is a particular treat.