The arts of Venice

(One week—seven days—to Island of the Mad…)

When I decided to set a Russell & Holmes book in Venice,

my time-table was fairly set: the chronology of the series has reached June, 1925, and unless I decided to skip some time, that’s when it would take place. Of course, summers in Venice are a mixed blessing. The humidity is…considerable.  But in the Twenties, humidity or no, Venice was THE place for the gilded set to summer,

Hotel Excelsior

with Hons and blue-bloods thick on the ground.

The only thing I couldn’t work in—and I tell you, I was tempted—was the Biennale.  Every two years since 1895, the city has hosted the world’s art, and artists. When I was there last year, Biennale was just about to open up, and all the artistic sorts of Europe were coming in. 

Beautiful young men in skinny-leg jeans lounged and smoked and called Darling! to each other across the lanes and cafés. Women with sleek haircuts and sleeker dresses ushered their pet artists around and suggested deals. 

Peculiar objects appeared on their way to installations. 

And magic sprang up in all corners.

It felt as if the Twenties were just around the corner…


Where to pre-order your copy of Island of the Mad ?

US edition—signed, from Poisoned Pen Booksor Bookshop Santa Cruz

Signed (as tip-in pages) from Barnes & Noble

From your local Indie;from Amazon/Kindle;from Barnes & Noble/Nook.

UK edition—from Allison & Busby;from my friends at Heffer’s.

Or the audio download here.


  1. Kelley on June 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    That looks like an ideal time to visit the Biennale. I love to see the set up – those huge hands in the boat are almost as good as they were in their final position!

  2. Sandra on June 22, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Wow! Just wow!!!

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