Book Review and Blog Tour: A Death in Venice by Verity Bright

Book: A Death in Venice
Author: Verity Bright
Pub Day: March 28, 2024 
Buy Link: Amazon

Book Description:

Stunning views across the Grand Canal and a hotel suite fit for royalty… Lady Eleanor Swift is having a jolly good time on her Italian vacation, until a gondola ride is cut murderously short!

1924. Lady Eleanor Swift has been on a grand tour around Italy for a month with her butler Clifford. Finally arriving in Venice, she’s thrilled to be attending the famous carnival: all that’s needed is the perfect bejewelled costume for her faithful bulldog, Gladstone. But on her first gondola ride to take in the sights, a passenger collapses into the canal with a knife sticking out of his back.

Eleanor saw an argument break out between the gondolier and the victim, Councillor Benetto Vendelini, and it turns out they’re rivals from the city’s two great families. Vendelini’s murder is sure to reignite their centuries-long feud. While attending a glitzy ball that night, Eleanor learns of a plot to steal a precious family heirloom from the Vendelini household. Is the stolen item the key to solving this baffling murder?

In this floating city of tiny winding alleyways, Eleanor traces the missing heirloom to an antiques dealer in a far-flung corner of town. But when her handbag is snatched by a cloaked thief, she realises the murderer is dangerously close. Can Eleanor unmask this most cunning of killers, before she joins the other victim at the bottom of the Grand Canal?

An utterly gripping historical murder mystery set in Italy, full of intrigue and charming characters. Fans of T.E. Kinsey, Agatha Christie, and Catherine Coles will be totally hooked by A Death in Venice!

If y’all have followed along for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Verity Bright and Lady Eleanor Swift. I was excited to read

Ellie, Clifford, and the ladies are on a grand tour of Venice. Of course, Gladstone and Tomkins wouldn’t miss the trip, either. They’re looking forward to sightseeing, shopping, and traveling the canals of the city via gondola. It is on one of their gondola outings that they see a motorboat speed by, causing one gondola to hit another. A man falls out, and when he is pulled from the water, dead, it becomes clear that he was murdered. Ellie may not have come to Venice to investigate a murder, but she and Clifford find themselves pulled into this one.

The dead man is a member of the Vendelini family. The man accused of killing him is a member of the Marcello family. The murder threatens to revive a feud between the two families, both pillars of Venetian society, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone. From the heights of the social whirl to the maze that is the streets of Venice, from the top of the Torre dell’Orologio to captivity on a barge, Eleanor runs the gamut on this holiday!

As always, Verity Bright provides us with a variety of suspects to wonder about. One by one, Eleanor and Clifford rule them out and find themselves back at square one. And the clock is ticking, as we learn. They have until the first night of Carnival, when the Vendelini and Marcello families traditionally reaffirm their commitment not to pursue the feud. The missing glass figurines that are part of the reaffirmation may be at the heart of this mystery, and Ellie and Clifford chase every lead to find the figurines and the killer.

The story was a lot of fun. I enjoyed reading Bright’s descriptions of Venice and experiencing it through the eyes of the characters. Sadly, Hugh Seldon was virtually absent from this one, being as he was back home in England. His brief appearances were by phone and letter. I miss the banter between Hugh and Ellie! As much fu as it is to travel with Ellie and Clifford and to see what shenanigans the ladies can get up to, I hope the next mystery they solve is a little bit closer to home.

In the course of their investigation, Ellie says to Clifford, “You shouldn’t be mixed up in any of this awful trouble, anyway. I so wanted you to come away purely for a holiday.” Clifford replies, “Which it has been. In inimitable Lady Swift style, replete with inappropriate venues, danger and, ahem, bodies.” And that’s a the story in a nutshell. These books are cozy, comforting, and by and large, familiar, even when they take place in different settings and with different plot twists. Verity Bright gave me a taste of adventure and intrigue without me having to leave my home, and that’s precisely why I love this series.

About the author:

Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.

Find them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BrightVerity.

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3 Responses to Book Review and Blog Tour: A Death in Venice by Verity Bright

  1. Thanks for the review, Lisa! You’ll be glad to know, the next book features Hugh front and centre 🙂

  2. Nancy says:

    Beautiful cover

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