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Publisher's Summary

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, 40-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend - but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A captivating tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman's brave quest for the truth - before it's too late.

"A riveting whodunit that makes full use of its dramatic setting." (Kirkus Reviews)

©2017 Christine Volker (P)2018 Christine Volker

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Venice shines like a jewel in this tale

Venetian Blood does the setting justice. I really felt transported to modern Venice and it was done so well. There were no large info dumps but rather small little things scattered throughout the tale showing me what an average day was like in Venice for Anna and her friends.

I also really like Anna’s character. She’s smart, loves her job, and also has some life behind her. She’s 40, heading into a divorce, no kids, and perhaps wondering if she wants a change in her life or not. While I like that she has a degree in astrophysics, I never quite figured out how she ended up working in an office crunching numbers for the US Treasury. Numbers are neat but analyzing radio waves from distant stars sounds awesome! So, yeah, that was a quirk about Anna that I didn’t quite get but then I also know people who got degrees in one area and ended up working in a totally different field. So perhaps that just makes her more human.

Anna has a few friends in Venice, which is good because she has at least one enemy. I did find Margo a little annoying, especially how loose lipped she was about Anna’s business. Then there was Angela, Margo’s pregnant cousin. Angela doesn’t really appreciate the beauty and history she’s surrounded by in Venice.

Even though Detective Biondi is a bit hard on Anna I still liked him. After all, Anna starts off by lying to him and that can tick anyone off in the best of situations. Biondi suspects Anna of murdering a philandering Count Sergio. He’s well known in the art world and also well known for his wandering eye. Unfortunately Anna didn’t check him out before getting to know him and now she regrets that.

I did find Anna’s part in the mystery to be rather sloppy. She lies to Biondi about things that are easy enough for him to check up on and she’s honest with others about her whereabouts that night, which leaves yet another route for Biondi to check up on her. So, yeah, Anna – what were you thinking? No wonder Biondi wants you for this murder.

There’s a little romance in the tale and some action. Considering Anna’s latest fail in having a fling, I was surprised that she was letting herself wander into another one. Again, it seems that Anna isn’t using all her brain cells. Sometimes, I liked this about her because it made her human. Sometimes, I wanted to give her a little smack upside the head.

In the end, it’s the setting that really shines through. Venice herself is the true star of this story. The murder mystery was decent, Anna was likable and approachable, and the side characters were a colorful bunch. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Gabrielle de Cuir gave us a most excellent performance with this narration. There is plenty of Italian throughout this story and it was all well pronounced along with plenty of characters with Italian accents. Her male characters sounded masculine and all the characters were distinct. I also appreciated her various US and UK accents, South American accent, etc. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Christine Evelyn Volker. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Excellent book!

This novel was quite an Italian treat. Taking place in the city of Venice, the flavor of this story is exquisitely Italian. The names, places, idioms all displayed an authenticity in the setting of this mystery. Anna Lucia Lottol is a memorable character trying to cope with a bad marriage, a murder mystery, Venetian romance,  while dealing with her own demons. This was more a like a literary murder mystery full of red herrings. Excellent.

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I fell in love with Venice

I gave the story 3.5 stars because I felt like the author got bogged down in the details. She described Venice, its people, and the artwork in painstaking detail. There were parts I felt that did not lend themselves to the story much UNTIL I got to around the last 10 chapters or so. All that stuff I thought was miscellaneous rambling turned out to be relevant to the story. My point here is this, don't give up on the story. It is worth it in the end. However, I do think the author could have condensed some of her descriptions down a bit.

Despite that, this was quite an intriguing tale of murder, money laundering, infidelity, and secrets galore. The residents of Venice certainly lived complicated lives. You cannot take any of the characters at face value as none are what they appear to me. Everyone was hiding behind the proverbial mask. The MC, Anna, was smart, strong and resilient. She had to be as she attempted to proof her innocence in the murder of a Count.

I was pleasantly surprised by "who done it" and how all the major players were interconnected. The author did a wonderful job of spinning a complicated and torrent web with many characters and story lines converging into one at the end. There was a surprise gem at the end as well that i cannot go into due to spoilers.

The narrator, Gabrielle de Cuir, did a phenomenal job. Her accent and pronunciation was immaculate. She made me fall in love with Venice.