Venice, 1731. Opera is the popular entertainment of the day, and the castrati are its reigning stars. Tito Amato, mutilated as a boy to preserve his enchanting soprano voice, returns to the city of his birth with his friend Felice, a castrato whose voice has failed. Disaster strikes Tito’s opera premier when the singer loses one beloved friend to poison and another to unjust accusation and arrest.
Venice, 1734. Castrato soprano Tito Amato, star of Venice opera, has let fame go to his head. Neglecting his vocal practice for dubious pleasures, Tito finds himself demoted to secondary roles and overshadowed by a visiting singer who usurps his position. But when the murder of scene painter Luca Cavalieri threatens to close the opera house, Tito sees an opportunity to reclaim his status and jumps at the chance to find the killer.
In September 1740, singer Tito Amato is offered the lead role in an opera being staged at an isolated villa in the Italian hills. Puzzled by the air of secrecy that enshrouds the production but attracted by a generous fee, Tito agrees.
In Venice in 1742, a courtesan tumbles from an opera box. On stage was singer Tito Amato, the only one to see the masked man who pushed Zulietta to her death. Now Tito is asked to help the police with the investigation.
In December 1941, America is reeling from the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor. Both patriotism and paranoia grip New York as the city frantically mobilizes for war. Nurse Louise Hunter is outraged when the FBI, in a midnight sweep of prominent Japanese residents, storms in to arrest her patient’s wife. The desperately ill Professor Oakley is married to artist Masako Fumi. The nurse vows to help the professor free Masako. But when the murdered body of Masako’s art dealer is discovered in the gallery where he’d been closing down her controversial show, Masako’s troubles multiply.