A Very Venetian Murder

A Very Venetian Murder

A Reuben Frost Mystery

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
Reuben Frost and his wife, Cynthia, are drawn into mysterious doings while vacationing in Venice when American fashion designer Greg Baxter is murdered after a loud, argumentative meal with his staff

Blackwell North Amer
Venice in September provides the colorful setting for Haughton Murphy's seventh Reuben Frost novel. Gregg Baxter, the best and hottest American fashion designer since Halston, has arrived to host the Euro-party of the year: a dinner at the stunning Palazzo Labia to promote his stylish clothes and a new association with la marchesa Scamozzi, a local fabric designer.
Baxter and his entourage are staying at the world-famous Hotel Cipriani, as are Reuben Frost, the distinguished retired Wall Street lawyer, and his wife, Cynthia, a retired ballerina.
The Frosts, on their annual Venetian holiday, are inexorably drawn into the strange goings-on involving the celebrity designer, which climax with Baxter's murder in the deserted Calle dei Tredici Martiri (the Street of the Thirteen Martyrs) after a loud, argumentative meal with his staff and a gondola ride with a handsome young male prostitute.
The murder - of the richest man ever killed in Venice - is all the more sensational because committed with a razor-sharp glass dagger, of the sort used in earlier times to assassinate traitors to the Venetian Republic.
The local police officer assigned to the touchy case, Commissario Jacopo Valier of the Pubblica Sicurezza, soon makes common cause with Frost in trying to solve the crime. Valier, scion of an old Venetian family who's about to retire as a police officer, is a lover of all things American, dating to his "enforced vacation" in Arkansas as a prisoner of war in World War II. With his addiction to 1940s songs and slang, he is one of the most colorful characters Haughton Murphy has yet drawn.
Frost and Valier discover that there were many with a reason - and an opportunity - to kill the temperamental Baxter: Tony Garrison, his up-and-coming protege and sometime lover; the exotic Tabita, his favorite model; the financially strapped marchesa Scamozzi and her fussy boyfriend, Luigi Regillo; Dan Abbott, the great man's frustrated business partner; Niccolo Pandini, a handsome young Venetian hustler; Doris Medford, Baxter's long-suffering assistant; and American perfume king Eric Werth and his "Irish sumo wrestler" lawyer, Jim Cavanaugh.
A Very Venetian Murder is a cerebral whodunit in which Frost thinks his way to the solution of the murder with the help of a hint from John Ruskin's The Stones of Venice. Once again Murphy gives his readers a suspenseful tale and amusing and satiric commentary, this time involving an intriguing cast from the worlds of high fashion, high society, and international high living.
For the first time, Murphy has set a novel outside Manhattan. His sybaritic portrait of Venice is both knowing and entertaining, as he takes the reader to obscure sites and to meals in both famous and little-known restaurants.

& Taylor

Reuben Frost's Venice vacation is interrupted by the murder of a wealthy American fashion designer staying at his hotel, and he teams up with a retiring Italian commissario to sift through the possible suspects. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c1992
ISBN: 9780671706647
Characteristics: 254 p. : map ; 23 cm


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