Best-selling mystery writer Donna Leon is most famous for her Commissario Guido Brunetti series. But her new novel The Jewels of Paradise is based on a little-known Baroque composer Agostino Steffani. She collaborated with opera singer Cecilia Bartoli whose most recent recording Mission features Steffani’s music. Ms. Leon became friends with the opera star more than 20 years ago after she interviewed her for a German newspaper. It was Bartoli who suggested that Leon write a book about him. Apparently Leon has always been passionate about opera and is involved in the management of the Florence-based opera company Il Compresso Barocco. The Jewels of Paradise is her first stand-alone novel. Check out the article here.