When I agree to visit Grenville in his villa near Rome, I scarcely imagine that I immediately will become embroiled in mystery and mayhem. James Denis has requested that I purchase an antique from a collector, one Conte de Luca. Before I can approach this count, I am recruited by a Roman a man to help rescue his daughter from a cool aristocrat, and then asked to solve the murder of an Englishman—by a man who is already dead.
These tasks do not keep me from traveling to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and exploring to my heart’s content, but trouble follows me in the form of a man bent on killing me—for what reason I cannot fathom.
All this is compounded by another murder back in Rome, and I am commanded by James Denis, as well as the aristocrat who stole my new Roman friend’s daughter, to find out who committed the deed and the secret of the man’s astonishing collection of rare and fine art.
Probing these puzzles lead me to the past, present, and future troubles of the Italian peninsula, a beautiful but deadly place in the spring of 1820.