The Urbino Macintyre Mystery Series
Death in the Palazzo
JACKET NOTES: It's November, and the tourists have once again left the beautiful city of canals to the people who live there--and to people like Urbino Macintyre, the American expatriate biographer who seems to spend most of his time in the company of his friend and patron, Barbara, the Contessa da Capo-Zendrini, British widow of an Italian count
The Contessa is worried, and with good reason. She has allowed her portrait to be painted by her cousin, the celebrated artist Gemma Bellini-Rhys. The portraits unveiling could be a good opportunity for Barbara to reconcile with her husband's family, the Zenos. The two families had last been together at a tragic party at Barbara's house, the Ca' da Capo-Zendrini, in the 1930s.
Now, some members of the original house party and their descendants are coming together again--Gemma; Gemma's son, Robert, a medieval art historian; Gemma's grandmother, Marialuisa Zeno; Luigi Vasco, the family physician; Renata, Gemma's mother, Cesarina, Marialuisa's only living child, who is now seventy-five and known as Bambina; Angelica Lydgate, Roberts fiancée; and Viola and Sebastian Neville, Barbara's young cousins. And an uninvited, mysterious guest, Molly Wybrow. All the bedrooms are full, so Barbara must put Molly in a room that had been locked for decades and where, over the years, too many people have died.
The guest list sounds unexceptional, but memories last a long time in Venice. A terrible storm descends on the city, cutting off all lines of communication with the Palazzo. Before the house party is over, someone will have died, and the lives of two distinguished families will have been changed forever.
Using the cherished closed room tradition, where only a small number of suspects has access to the murder scene, one of the masters of the form has written in Death in the Palazzo a witty, literate, and always subtle mystery.