This is the third in a series by an Edgar winning author, and it does not disappoint. The novel begins in Istanbul in the 1840’s. Yashim, the eunuch detective from the previous novels, is charged by the Ottoman sultan to travel to Venice to find a missing portrait by the artist Bellini. However, Yashim devises a plan so that his friend, the irrepressible Polish ambassador Pawleski, goes instead. Disguised as a rich American art connoisseur, Pawleski finds his life in danger as he attempts to untangle the web surrounding the portrait. Wonderfully evocative, Venice in the mid 1800’s comes to life, along with the richly drawn characters. The first two novels, “The Janissary Tree” and “The Snake Stone,” are also well worth reading.
The Bellini Card: a novel