The Last Gondola Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Last Gondola

Dunne, July 2003, 24.95, 384 pp.
ISBN 0312290497

After his divorce and the death of his parents, there was nothing to keep Urbino Macintyre from accepting his inheritance of the Palazzo Vecello in Venice, Italy. The former New Orleans citizen embraces all things Venetian, so much so, that his good friend the Contessa da Capo-Zendrini gave him his very own gondola so that he wouldn't have to use public transportation. The two American expatriates are very good friends so it is easy to confide in Urbino that she is missing some clothing and inexpensive jewelry and is afraid she is sliding into senility.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Urbino assures her that she is as sane as he and he will use all his skills as an amateur sleuth to discover what happened to the contessa's belongings. Urbino is also obsessed with the Ca' Pozza and it's owner Samuel Possle, another American expatriate. When he finally gains entrance into the house, Possle doesn't address the question of Urbino writing a biography about him but hints that he has something that the writer wants. Little does Urbino know that there is a malevolent evil permeating the very walls of the Ca' Pozza and it somehow involves the Contessa and her missing possessions.

THE LAST GONDOLA is a very dark and atmospheric novel, gothic in scope with a brooding protagonist in the tradition of Jane Eyre's Heathcliffe. The author does such a good job of describing Venice that readers will feel that they have journeyed there. There are various subplots that slide into the main story line but readers won't realize how they intertwine until the last chapter when all the questions are finally answered.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Last Gondola

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Last Gondola

Edward Sklepowich Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian