The Lover of No Fixed Abode

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The month, November. Glittering worldliness and dubious shabbiness overlap, passion and suspicion intertwine in a three-day Venetian adventure, bookended by the arrival of a plane and the departure of a ship.

It begins with a troubling encounter on a flight to Venice. She is an elegant Roman signora on the search for undervalued paintings and he a mysterious tour guide. She is invited to cosmopolitan parties by Venetian social and art glitterati. Mr. Silvera, a guide whose erudition and distinction are in sharp contrast with his beat-up suitcase and stain-spotted raincoat, drags his shabby tourists from monument to monument.

Their passion will last three days, long enough to be exposed to unscrupulous art dealers and other scammers, passing off worthless paintings as part of a famous collection. Silvera seems to know every language and all secrets. But who is he really? Around them, the canals and lagoons of Venice, a city which becomes a character in the novel in its own right.

'Doyens of the Italian detective story, Fruttero and Lucentini, offer a perfect blend of the comedy of manners and the macabre…' — Tim Parks, author of Hotel Milano

'A labyrinth full of shapeshifting and ambiguity, sometimes sinister, often hilarious, for which Venice offers the perfect setting.' — Jonathan Keates, author of La Serenissima: The Story of Venice

'An undiscovered gem, finally available in English...witty, moving and enthrallingly atmospheric.' — Philip Gwynne Jones, author of The Venetian Legacy