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The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon
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The Jewels of Paradise (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Donna Leon

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3303033,462 (2.95)16
Member:Maya47Bob46
Title:The Jewels of Paradise
Authors:Donna Leon
Info:Atlantic Monthly Press (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction

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The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon (2012)

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» See also 16 mentions

English (25)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  English (30)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Read in 2016 ( )
  jemalong | Dec 1, 2016 |
I was amazed to discover that Detective Montalbano did not appear in this book. I liked it a lot any way. Donna Leon's description is so wonderful it really puts you in the place. I loved the atmosphere. It made me want to start a research project. I was surprised and delighted by the conclusion. I am always delighted to read any of Ms Leon's work. ( )
  njcur | Nov 15, 2016 |
This was very dull and lacked much of the charm and the warmth of Leon's Brunetti series. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I've read and enjoyed all of Dona Leon's previous books featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti and have been eagerly anticipating her latest book, THE JEWELS OF PARADISE. Had it been written by an author I didn't know, I would have given up on in after the first few chapters.
The story is set in Venice where Caterina Pellegrini has just come home from England to decipher two trunks of documents which have been untouched since the early 1700s. The trunks belonged to an Italian Baroque composer and have recently been discovered. Two descendants of two of his cousins want to find out what treasures are in the trunk. The two of them don't get along and a lawyer arranges to hire someone to go through them to determine the contents to find out which one has the greater claim so they won't have to share the bounty.
The composer was a real person who also was active in the Catholic church. The book tells about his works--musical, religious, and political-as well as offering some information about the convoluted lives of some of the prominent people of his time. The central part of that story is the disappearance of a Count with ties to the rulers in 1694.
I would have liked to get a final report on his disappearance (interweaving fact with fiction) and didn't like having the issue unresolved.
The book focuses on the research Caterina conducts to learn about the composer. Subplots include the attorney involved with the cousins, Caterina's relationship with her sister who is a nun researching the Catholic Church (one of the best parts of the book), and the hunt for the jewels which are believed to be hidden in the trunk.
I also didn't like the use of untranslated Italian words and phrases; I don't think they were necessary to set the tone.
I hope Donna Leon's next book is back to her high standards. ( )
  Judiex | Oct 19, 2016 |
This is not nearly as compelling as a Brunetti mystery. Its missing some of that Venetian light. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
The bad news is that Commissario Guido Brunetti is nowhere in sight in Leon’s new novel. The much better news is that the book’s fresh central character is far more beguiling than Brunetti. This paragon of smarts, who’s also gifted with an amusing acerbic streak, is Caterina Pellagrini, a native of Venice and a musicologist specializing in baroque opera. Pellagrini is hired by two untrustworthy Venetians to check out the papers of their ancestor, a brilliant composer of three centuries earlier. The two slippery guys figure a potential windfall lies within their grasp. The book’s puzzle is engaging, Venice is captivating, but most amazing of all, Jewels makes research seem a glorious and exciting pursuit.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jan 25, 2013)
 

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Caterina Pellegrini closed the door behind her and leaned her back and then her head against it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802120644, Hardcover)

Donna Leon has won heaps of critical praise and legions of fans for her best-selling mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. With The Jewels of Paradise, Leon takes readers beyond the world of the Venetian Questura in her first standalone novel.

Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she’s had to leave home to pursue her career. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Manchester, England. Manchester, however, is no Venice. When Caterina gets word of a position back home, she jumps at the opportunity.

The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks, believed to contain the papers of a baroque composer have been discovered. Deeply-connected in religious and political circles, the composer died childless; now two Venetians, descendants of his cousins, each claim inheritance. Caterina’s job is to examine any enclosed papers to discover the “testamentary disposition” of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold. From a masterful writer, The Jewels of Paradise is a superb novel, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history and greed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she's had to leave home to pursue her career. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Manchester, England. Manchester, however, is no Venice. When Caterina gets word of a position back home, she jumps at the opportunity. The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks, believed to contain the papers of a baroque composer have been discovered. Deeply-connected in religious and political circles, the composer died childless; now two Venetians, descendants of his cousins, each claim inheritance. Caterina's job is to examine any enclosed papers to discover the "testamentary disposition" of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold.… (more)

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