A re-issue of the very first Donna Leon mystery introducing Commissario Brunetti.
The twisted maze of Venice's canals has always been shrouded in mystery. Even the celebrated opera house, La Fenice, has seen its share of death. But nothing so horrific and violent as that of world famous conductor, Maestro Helmet Wellauer - poisoned during a performance of La Traviata.
For Commissario of Police, Guido Brunetti, the murder means an unwelcome step behind the lights into the bitchy world of opera and the clashing egos of singers, directors and musicians.
As the investigation progresses, even the cynical Brunetti, used to the labyrinthine corruptions of the city, is shocked at the number of enemies Wellauer has made on his way to the top - but just how many have motive enough for murder?
The beauty of Venice is crumbling. But evil is one thing that will never erode with age . . .