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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.

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The Jewels of Paradise
Average rating
3.9 / 5
A really bad book!
January 5th, 2015
A pointless attempt to break away from the mystery writing mold. Mostly this is a rehash of a long old scandal combined with a very tedious explanation of some pretty slap-dash research methods . There is no real plot, no character development and no narrative development.
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1 review
A Good Read
June 26th, 2014
This story started off very quietly, but before long, I was hooked and found the journey an extremely pleasant one. This is a beautifully written work, leading all the way through until the surprise ending. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Donna Leon adventure, and I now look forward to other fictional journeys with Ms Leon.
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1 review
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
April 3rd, 2014
Loved this. Will there be mire adventures for Catarina?
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1 review

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