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Vengeance in Venice

A second murder mystery set in Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones

The Giardini della Biennale, which hosts the Venice arts festival, is in the Castello district
The Giardini della Biennale, which hosts the
Venice arts festival, is in the Castello district
Amateur sleuth Nathan Sutherland shows his compassionate side in Vengeance in Venice when he feels sorry for an artist who he meets at an exclusive event during the Venetian Biennale.

He senses Paul Considine, the artist, is nervous and vulnerable and feels even more sympathetic when he discovers that he has already received a scathing review from a Times art critic before the exhibition has even opened to the public.

That same critic, Gordon Blake-Hoyt, is present at the reception in the British pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale, to which Nathan has been invited in his role as honorary British Consul in Venice.

When the unpleasant GBH, as he is nicknamed, falls from a glass-floored corridor overlooking the exhibition and is decapitated by a vertical shard of glass that is part of the artworks on display, Nathan finds himself caught up in a murder mystery again. A postcard found in the victim’s pocket - of a painting by Artemesia Gentileschi showing Judith beheading Holofernes - indicates that the death was not just the result of a tragic accident.

Paul Considine is among the suspects but all Nathan’s instincts tell him that the artist is not the murderer and he sets out to try to prove it.

Nathan Sutherland returns in Vengeance in Venice
Nathan Sutherland returns
in Vengeance in Venice 
In theory, Nathan's unpaid job as honorary consul should be no more dangerous than helping British tourists who have lost their passports or become ill during their holidays, but as happened in The Venetian Game, Nathan can’t resist sleuthing and putting his own life and that of his friend, Dario, at risk. His paid job, as a freelance translator of diy manuals, clearly doesn’t provide him with enough excitement.

Nathan’s personal life has moved on since The Venetian Game and his friend, Federica, the art restorer, is now his partner. His lifestyle has become less chaotic as a result and he has become more domesticated and is enjoying cooking for two. But at one point he risks losing Federica by keeping her in the dark about his unofficial investigation.

The story is well told by Phillip Gwynne Jones against the beautiful backdrop of Venice in the early summer, as Nathan moves round the city by vaporetto and traghetto, pausing occasionally for Prosecco and cicchetti and savouring the art and architecture along the way.

Vengeance in Venice was published by Constable in 2018. 

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