Beautiful and serene Venice is a city almost devoid of crime. But that is little comfort to Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor whose intermission refreshment comes one night with a little something extra in it-cyanide. For Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police and detective genius, finding a suspect isn't a problem; narrowing the large and unconventional group of enemies down to one is. As the suave and pithy Brunetti pieces together clues, a shocking picture of depravity and revenge emerges, leaving him torn between what is and what should be right and questioning what the law can do, and what needs to be done.
If your taste is for contemporary fiction set in Italy, here are some irresistible novels: Italian Fever by Valerie Martin (Vintage. 2000. ISBN 0-375-70522-8. pap. $12) and Francesca Marciano's Casa Rossa (Vintage. 2003. ISBN 0-375-72637-3. pap. $14). And you certainly won't want to go to Italy, especially Venice, without bringing a few Donna Leon mysteries featuring Commissario Brunetti, whose love of good food and despair about corruption in Italian politics play prominent roles in every book. Two favorites are A Noble Radiance (Penguin. 2003. ISBN 0-14-200319-0. pap. $6.99) and Death at La Fenice (HarperTorch. 1995. ISBN 0-06-104337-0. pap. $6.99). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.