Venice -- fiction

The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

In the early 15th-century Venice of The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, no one is safe from the political ambitions of the ruling family--not even Giuliette, beautiful cousin of the Duke. She becomes a pawn in the schemes of her aunt and uncle who are regents for the simpleton Duke Marco. Meanwhile, Venice faces external threats from the Ottomans, the Byzantines and the German emperor. It is Atilo il Mauro's job as head of the Assassini to protect Venice and enforce the will of its ruling family while trying not to be destroyed by that family's internal power struggles.

Death in a Strange Country

By Donna Leon

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In Death in a Strange CountryCommissario Guido Brunetti confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young American is fished out of a fetid Venetian canal. Though all the signs point to a violent mugging, something incriminating turns up in the victim's apartment that suggests the existence of a high level conspiracy--and Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
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Dead Lagoon

By Michael Dibdin

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"...Michael Dibdin, who, in Dead Lagoon, gives us a deliciously creepy new novel featuring the urbane and skeptical Aurelio Zen, a detective whose unenviable task it is to combat crime in a country where today's superiors may be tomorrow's defendants.

"Zen returns to his native Venice. He is searching for the ghostly tormentors of a half-demented contessa and a vanished American millionaire whose family is paying Zen under the table to determine his whereabouts--dead or alive. But he keeps stumbling over corpses that are distressingly concrete: from the crooked cop found drowned in one of the city's noisome 'black wells' to a brand-new skeleton that surfaces on the Isle of the Dead. The result is a mystery rich in character and deduction, and intensely informed about the history, politics, and manners of its Venetian setting."

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Vaporetto 13

By Robert Girardi

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" Wilson Squire is a currency trader sent by his company to Venice, Italy, to gauge the political climate and its potential effect on the lira. Haunted by recent events in his life and uneasy in the foreign environment, he finds it impossible to sleep, so he takes to walking the damp Venetian streets at midnight. In that labyrinth of alleyways and bridges, Wilson meets the ethereal and perplexing Caterina, a woman who seems to bear the sadness of centuries, a woman wrapped in the past but unwilling to share any of her own history with him. Every night he goes to find her among the thousands of stray cats that she feeds faithfully, and over the course of a few weeks falls desperately in love with her even though he knows nothing about her beyond the vague answers he receives to his constant questions. But something about her compels him despite reason. Even as he begins to learn that to uncover the secret she is keeping means losing her forever, he presses harder for a truth that is as elusive as it is inescapable. As the winter hangs heavy over the deserted city, Wilson finds the impossible answer that will change his life forever."
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The Stargazer

By Michele Jaffe

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The brilliant daughter of a renowned physician, Bianca Salva is thrust into an uneasy alliance with Ian Foscari, a handsome aristocrat notorious for his outrageous escapades and romantic conquests, when they masquerade as a betrothed couple to find the murderer of a beautiful courtesan.
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Miss Garnet's Angel

By Salley Vickers

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"Stories magically unfold within this novel's irresistible tale of Miss Julia Garnet, a schoolteacher who decides, after the death of her longtime friend Harriet, to take an apartment for six months in Venice. Soon overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the city and its magnificent art, Miss Garnet's English reserve begins to melt away. For the first time in her life she falls in love--with an art dealer named Carlo--and her once ordinary world is further transformed by a beautiful Italian boy, Nicco, and an enigmatic pair of twins engaged in restoring the fourteenth-century Chapel-of-the-Plague.

"Most affecting to Julia, though, is her discovery in a local church of panels depicting the ancient tale of Tobias and the Angel. As Julia unravels the story of Tobias's redemption, she too strives to recover losses--not just her own but also the priceless painting of an angel that goes mysteriously missing from the Chapel along with one of the twins restoring it. His name is Toby. And Miss Garnet herself may prove to be an angel, but nowhere in this haunting, beautifully textured and multilayered novel is anything quite what it appears to be."

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