Case #2 for handsome Italian cop Achille Peroni (The Neapolitan Streak)--who now moves from Verona to Venice, where a lawyer is found murdered in his office with all the clues pointing to the city's gondolieri. Was the lawyer a Mr. Big who manipulated the blackmail/gambling ring manned by gondoliers? Or was he an innocent bystander who fatally stumbled onto the ring? And what's the connection to a manuscript by the great Venetian playwright Goldoni--found in the lawyer's secret underwater safe? Peroni sleuths away, while also courting a lovely young Venetian . . . and being repeatedly duped by a leading Italian actress (mistress of disguise). And, after a climactic regatta race (with an obligatory touch of terrorism), the not-too-surprising killer is revealed . . . thanks to a clue from Goldoni's Memoirs. As before: convoluted plot, mildly amusing chat--but this time Holme has the Venetian atmosphere to play with, and the beautiful/crumbling canal backgrounds lift this to a slightly-above-average, highly scenic level.