I'm a massive fan of Michelle Lovric and this novel is her best to date. In Minguillo Fasan and Sor Loreta she has created two convincingly twisted and manipulative characters, pitting them against (the slightly too good to be true) Marcella and Santo, against the backdrop of Venice (naturally) and the colourful world of Arequipa, Peru. Regular Lovric character Cecilia Cornaro also makes an important appearance. This has been compared to Perfume by Patrick Suskind, and I can see where the similarities lie, but I feel that this delves much deeper into the question of madness and sanity; in particular the experiences of patients in the Venetian asylum as contrasted against the fanaticism of Sor Loreta and the machinations of Minguillo. It is witty, lively, fascinating, macabre, exotic, exciting and ultimately satisfying - what more could you possibly ask for in a novel? If you haven't yet read Lovric, this is a great place to start - but be warned, you will be hooked.