Piero Chiara's novel is at once a murder mystery and a lyrical study of desire, greed, and deception. The ending is simply stunning.--Andr Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name
A strong, well-written and weirdly seductive little novel about enjoying the small pleasures of life.--New York Times Book Review
Summer 1946. World War Two has just come to an end and there's a yearning for renewal. A man in his thirties is sailing on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, hoping to put off the inevitable return to work. Dropping anchor in a small, fashionable port, he meets the enigmatic owner of a nearby villa who invites him home for dinner with his older wife and beautiful widowed sister-in-law. The sailor is intrigued by the elegant waterside mansion, staffed with servants and imbued with mystery, and stays in a guest room previously occupied by a now deceased bishop related to his host. The two men form an uneasy bond, recognizing in each other a shared taste for idling and erotic adventure. But tragedy puts an abrupt halt to their revels and shatters the tranquility of the villa. A sultry, stylish psychological thriller executed with supreme literary finesse.