The Jewels of Paradise

The Jewels of Paradise

3.09 (2,154 ratings by Goodreads)
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Donna Leon has won heaps of critical praise and legions of fans for her bestselling mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, one of contemporary crime fiction's most beloved characters. With The Jewels of Paradise, Leon takes readers beyond the world of the Venetian Questura in her first stand-alone novel. Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she's had to leave home to pursue her career elsewhere, mostly abroad. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Birmingham, England, as a research fellow and assistant professor. Birmingham, however, is no Venice, so when she gets word of a position back home, Caterina jumps at the opportunity. The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks, believed to contain the papers of a once-famous, now largely forgotten baroque composer, have been discovered. The composer was deeply connected in religious and political circles, but he died childless, and now two Venetian men, descendants of his cousins, each claim inheritance. With rumors of a treasure, they aren't about to share the possible fortune. Caterina has been hired to attend the opening of the trunks and examine any enclosed papers to discover the "testamentary disposition" of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions and a silent man follows her through the streets, she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold. The Jewels of Paradise is a superb novel, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history, and greed.
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Product details

  • CD-Audio | 8 pages
  • 157 x 185 x 38mm | 376g
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0792795032
  • 9780792795032

Review quote

"Fascinating. ... her first stand-alone ... boasts the same sensitivity to human behavior that distinguishes her Guido Brunetti series."--Bill Ott, "Booklist"

"A veteran mystery maven weaves present-day Venice into a 300-year-old puzzle in this engaging stand-alone. ... [The Jewels of Paradise] packs the charms of Venice into a smart whodunit."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"While it is undeniable strange to be wandering through Venice without the protection of Brunetti's solid presence, the young heroine of this novel is so winning that readers should find themselves forgiving the Commissario his absence. ... The Jewels of Paradise is as much a tale about a young woman wising up and learning to fight more effectively for her own happiness as it is a mystery--though the centuries-old secrets that those chests contain are also pretty compelling. Commissario Brunetti is allowed to take a vacation once in a while, but only if his replacements are as wry and erudite as Caterina."--Maureen Corrigan, "The Washington Post"

""The Jewels of Paradise"... shares some features of the Brunetti mysteries--Venice's mash-up of high and low culture, corrupt businessmen and Italian-style family squabbles. It also shares Leon's elegant prose, with humorous, wonderfully detailed descriptions as seen through the eyes of her heroine."--Jennifer Melick, "Opera News"
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About Donna Leon

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.
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Rating details

2,154 ratings
3.09 out of 5 stars
5 11% (234)
4 25% (533)
3 34% (728)
2 24% (518)
1 7% (141)
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