The Jewels of Paradise

by Donna Leon

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Featured image for The Jewels of Paradise

I’m surprised by how miserable a lot of the comments and reviews about this book are. I suspect a lot of that stems from the fact that it’s not a Brunetti book - I think it’s the only non-series book that Donna Leon has written but I may be wrong about that. I enjoyed it - Leon has stuck with Venice but moved to an entirely different kind of mystery with a female musicologist researching some chests of paperwork belonging to a seventeenth century composer. It’s a quiet sort of a plot for the most part but I found it all interesting and was surprised to search and find that the composer at the centre of the story wasn’t a fictional creation. The book certainly has a few shortcomings, the end of the story was tied up very quickly without explaining all the details. I think that may have worked better than a long drawn out conclusion though, I could imagine the holes in the plot being closed up rather than having them tediously explained to me and my perhaps not being happy with the explanations. I liked the characters and am kind of disappointed that there’s probably not another series starting here. I would quite have liked a family saga about Caterina and her sisters!