Another tangled Venice-based tale revolving around American expatriate writer/sleuth Urbino Macintyre and his Venetian connection Barbara, the Contessa da Capo-Zendrini (Liquid Desires, 1993, etc.). Here, Barbara is becoming emotionally involved with Bobo, an aging but still charismatic actor endowed with his own title--Barone Casarotto-Re. When Bobo receives a series of unsigned threats, Barbara asks Urbino to investigate. Then matters turn much more serious with the murders of Marie Quimper and Hugh Moss, a young couple doing the high-end social scene with Barbara's friend Contessa Oriana Borelli and newest lover John Flint, an ex-model and self-proclaimed art consultant. There are more murky characters on stage--Harriet Kolb, Barbara's homely secretary; Marco Zeoli, a director of the nearby Abano spa; Bobo's brother-in-law Orlando, still mourning his wife Rosa, dead ten years; and a host of others. Meanwhile, Urbino fumbles his way through a maze of jumbled relationships, finally linking some feeble motivation with the unconvincing villain of the piece. Only the author's Venice-scape saves this one from total ennui. It could send lovers of the city straight to the nearest travel agent. For puzzle-lovers, however, a washout.