Leon's first stand-alone mystery, and, while it is undeniably 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.... 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 - Washington Post
Written with all Leon's elegant delicacy combined with her ability to reveal the truth almost without your noticing, this a little gem of a book, immersed as it is in Leon's own love for the baroque.
Geoffrey Wansell - Daily Mail (UK)
Bestseller Leon debuts a stand-alone. Opera expert Caterina Pellegrini, who’s been teaching in Manchester, England, returns home to Venice to...[research] the contents of recently discovered trunks believed to have belonged to a once renowned baroque composer.... Despite the intriguing setup, Leon uncharacteristically fails to mine the premise for maximal emotion....and finally, out of the blue, there’s a slapdash deus ex machina ending. Consider this one a paradise lost.
[S]et in present-day Venice. Caterina Pellegrini, a researcher and music scholar, is...presented with two trunks that hold the papers of a 17th-century composer. She discovers not only unpublished scores but references to a hidden treasure.... Caterina investigates the composer and the cousins to discover the truth of the mysterious jewels. Verdict: Steeped in the language and music of the past, this novel lingers between the baroque era and the modern world, leading the reader on an informed ramble through Venice. —Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL
Fascinating.... [Leon's] 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. Caterina Pellegrini....has accepted a commission from two venal cousins and their suave lawyer to examine the contents of two locked trunks...believed to contain the papers of a long-dead composer.... Along the way, she discovers the hidden story of the composer's tragic life and, perhaps, puts her own back on track.... While the plot can get a bit academic at times—mixing Catholic Church politics with music and legal terms—...[and] while lacking some of the warmth of the Brunetti series, Leon's stand-alone still packs the charms of Venice into a smart whodunit.
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