This is rather an unusual story by Donna Leon which is set mostly in Venice. It tells the story of a researcher who is employed to find out the testamentary wishes of a composer who lived three hundred years previously.
I quite enjoyed the story as the researcher set about her work in the
beautiful city of Venice where she would often go out for a coffee
with a friend or visit her parents who also happened to be living there. Scenery and the backdrop of the little lanes and streets of Venice appealed to me as I was reading this story.
The conclusion of the story is quite unexpected and in a way it may be a story regarding the corruption and greed which can be associated with acquiring great wealth. The reader is led to believe
that the jewels of paradise may be great wealth for the two cousins
who have employed the researcher and there is an uncertainty
regarding a very suave lawyer whom the researcher also befriends
at one stage until she realises his true intentions.
On one level this story may appear to be mundane and very humdrum as the researcher goes about her work and has interactions
With family members and a friend who is a co-worker and yet on
Another level this book is quite enthralling.
Because of the academic nature of the research, which I did find quite fascinating as it delved into the history of Ernst August, the Elector of Hanover, and his son who became George I of England,
the story may appear at times to not be going anywhere and may
not appeal to all readers. However, this story appealed to me as it
was also a mystery story with a unique ending and was interesting to
read of the varying emotions of the main players when the jewels of paradise were finally discovered. The expectations at the conclusion of the story were so vastly different from what actually transpired.