"Leon tells the story as if she loves Venice as much as her detective does, warts and all. The plot and subplots unfold elegantly; beauty and the beast march hand in hand, and the result is rich entertainment." --The Sunday Times (London)
In Donna Leon's ninth novel featuring her celebrated protagonist, Commissario Guido Brunetti finds himself caught up in a typically Venetian problem: red tape over renovations. Visited by a young bureaucrat, Brunetti learns that, officially, his apartment does not exist. The extra floor that was added years before was never approved. But what begins as troublesome headache ends in murder when the bureaucrat is found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that takes him into unfamiliar and dangerous areas of Venetian life, and shows him, once again, what a difference it makes to have friends in high places.