Death in the Palazzo: A Venetian Mystery

Edward Sklepowich, Author Scribner Book Company $21.5 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-83031-5
An ancient Venetian palazzo with a sealed bedroom; a 50-year-old death; two clans related by marriage, separated by bad blood; a dinner party with 13 guests: such is the melodramatic setting for American expatriate, biographer and amateur sleuth Urbino Macintyre's fifth appearance (after Black Bridge, 1995). It is Urbino's patron and companion--Barbara, Contessa da Capo-Zendrini--who gives the fateful party. Hoping to ease strained relations with the Zeno family, Barbara commissioned Gemma Bellini-Rhys (a Zeno relation) to paint her portrait. Invited to the unveiling are Marialuisa Zeno, the ancient but formidable matriarch, and her daughter ""Bambina,"" as well as Barbara's English cousins, Viola and Sebastian Neville, startlingly androgynous siblings who bring with them an uninvited (and unwelcomed 13th guest), Molly Wyborw. Molly's contribution to the gathering are ominous pronouncements as she claims to be able to see the past and indeed seems to know things she should not. Storms trap the guests, intensify the emotional turmoil and lead to a fatality--but is it an accident or murder? Within his storm-drenched Venetian palazzo, Sklepowich serves up a feast of Gothic proportions: a malevolent painting; a jewel with a dark past; a locked room; mysterious deaths. Urbino's quiet persistence as he attempts to untangle the skein of ancient jealousies and current passions stands out in this cast of bizarre and entertaining characters. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-78408-982-5
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