Venetian Mask

| April 12, 2016

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Venetian Mask: A Michaela Thompson International Thriller

PEOPLE MAGAZINE called Venetian Mask “…kaleidoscopic, satisfyingly intricate … a brainy, psychologically astute cut above most mysteries.”

THE NEW YORKER called author Michaela Thompson “An enthralling entertainer, and one familiar with every nuance of Venice and Carnival.”

MURDER AT CARNIVAL IN THE FLOATING CITY

The surreal splendor of Venice glitters and mesmerizes as six so-called friends who, it turns out, barely know each other meet at Carnival to play a malignant game that quickly turns murderous. Sally, the “Tallahassee lassie” spurned by the rest as a virtual hayseed, is swept up by a mysterious count, attending masked balls, operas, and Carnival revels even as she mourns her marriage and dodges a deadly pursuer. “Things should happen at Carnival,” says her unlikely protector, who resembles Harlequin in more than his costume. “If they go on just the same, there’s no reason for Carnival at all.” There’s absolutely no chance of that in this psychological tour de force of surging identities wrestling to emerge in people forced by violence to confront their inner Harlequins and Medusas.

The characters change costumes, alter egos, sex partners (and preferences), and most of all, their stories while Carnival swirls around them, each more desperate by the hour to solve the murder, commit another, save a career, escape a past…whatever it is that Carnival, as much a character as the humans, seems to command them to do. The guignol grows ever grander, the danger more heightened as the clock ticks toward midnight on Fat Tuesday and Sally finds she has more enemies than she thought.

Who will like it: Fans of THE SECRET HISTORY, Commedia dell’arte, French Comedy (there’s more than a little Molière here), and all things Venice, particularly Daphne du Maurier’s DON’T LOOK NOW, John Berendt’s CITY OF FALLING ANGELS, and Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti mysteries.

“The decaying splendor of Venice forms the backdrop for a complex and unusual murder mystery … an elaborate, surrealistic book ripe with atmosphere, plot and characterization.” —Publishers Weekly

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