Friday, November 17, 2017


Rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker has all the makings of a juicy mystery: murder, theft, money-laundering, jilted lovers, and lost loves all on the backdrop of one of Italy's most beautiful cities — Venice.

The book starts off with a bang, well a stabbing, — the murder of financier and art investor, Sergio. The reader also quickly meets, Anna, the book's protagonist. Through Anna, the reader learns that Sergio is a murder victim, but not an innocent person by any stretch of the imagination. Anna, who is from California, is on vacation in Italy attempting to settle a score with Sergio after a brief love affair for which he is blackmailing her, healing from her failed marriage, and coming to terms with her infertility. In short, she's got a lot going on, folks. The author also introduces a large cast of characters spanning from the United States to Europe, thus crafting an international whodunnit.

I enjoyed the format of the book. Volker integrated quite a bit of the Italian culture including the language. I found it quite interesting how she included Italian phrases then followed up with the English translation for us non-speakers. As for the mystery, she reveals bit-by-bit through easily digestible chapters that move at an engaging pace. My only criticism is that, at times, the author overdid it with some of the descriptions that proved distracting for this reader. Nonetheless, the overall story was solid, and it was truly a challenge to discern who the real killer was. I was unable to figure it out until I neared the end, which is the sign of a great murder mystery, in my opinion. At one point, Anna seems a bit unstable and so shaken by her past that I began to believe she was the killer. But can a novel make the protagonist the villain as well? You'll have to read for yourself to find out!

Recommendation: I think this would be a good book for someone who is interested in the financial and money-laundering industries as well as Italian history and culture. A must read for mystery-lovers!

Until next time ... Read on!

Connect with Christine Evelyn Volker: Goodreads | Facebook


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