JACKET NOTES: She reached a nervous hand up to her temple, and Brunetti saw her slide her fingers back, seeking, the protective comfort of her wimple. But instead, she pulled her fingers away as though they had been burned.
Commissario Guido Brunetti is kicking his heels, pondering the recent lack of crime in Venice, when a beautiful young woman appears at his office door.
Now calling herself Maria Testa, his visitor is more familiar to Brunetti as Suorlmmacolata, the nun who once cared for his mother at the casa di cura in Dolo. But Maria has recently left her convent after the unexpected deaths of five patients.
Brunetti offers to make some enquiries, but his interviews with the principal heirs--including the unpleasant Signor Da Pre and the excessively pious Benedetta Lerini--suggest no cause for concern. Nor does his meeting with the nursing home's chaplain, Padre Pio Cavaletti.
Is Maria simply creating fears to justify abandoning her vocation? Or has she stumbled on to a deeply rooted, far more sinister scenario--and put her own life in very grave danger...?