A Death in the Venetian Quarter Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Death in the Venetian Quarter

St. Martin's, Mar 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0312242670

    In 1203, the two hundred plus Fourth Crusade ships anchor just off the walls of Constantinople causing panic and concern among the residents. The Imperial Treasurer Philoxenites not only worries about the horde of soldiers besieging his city, but the impact of a particular murder on that army. Someone killed Camilio Bastini, a silk merchant, in a locked room in the Venetian Quarter. Philoxenites assigns Theophilos “Feste the Jester” to uncover the truth about this homicide that could inflame the soldiers besetting the city into beginning the assault.
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    Feste, accompanied by his pregnant wife Aglaia, Rico the dwarf, and Plossus of the troupe of fools, quickly learns that the deceased is more than just a merchant. Soon the troupe of sleuths begins to uncover spies in every corner of the city representing numerous warring factions. The quartet concludes that even if they solve the case of the locked room, they might not survive the intrigue swirling in and out of Constantinople.

    DEATH IN THE VENETIAN QUARTER is a humorous, often lewd tale filled with sharp puns and retorts, and a detailed description of the siege. Though historical mystery purists might cringe, Alan Gordon fills the story line with purposely placed anachronisms that enliven the narrative. The characters (real and fiction) are fun to observe; the locked door who-done-it is cleverly devised; and a mini note further explains the genuine events of the Fourth Crusade. The unconcerned about accuracy historical mystery reader will delight in this well written tale.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Death in the Venetian Quarter

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   preventing/finding assassin Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's the terrorist enemy here?    -   spy ring

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Turkey

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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