"Winding up an interpreter in Bassano del Grappa at a conference on artist Jacopo da Bassano, a famous native son, Rick Montoya looks forward to exploring the town. And it would be fun to look into the history of two long-missing paintings by the master, a topic that caused the only dust-up among the normally staid group of international scholars attending the seminar. Bassano has much to offer to Rick the tourist, starting with its famous covered bridge, an ancient castle, and several picturesque walled towns within striking distance. He also plans to savor a local cuisine that combines the best of Venice with dishes from the Po Valley and the surrounding mountains. These plans come to a sudden halt when one of the seminar's professors turns up dead. Rick is once again drawn into a murder investigation, this time with a pair of local cops who personify the best and the worst of the Italian police force. At the same time he's willingly pulled into a relationship with Betta Innocenti, the daughter of a local gallery owner, who is equally intrigued by the lost paintings. They quickly realize that the very people who might know the story are also the main suspects in the murder--and that someone not above resorting to violence is watching their every move.