The Dante Trap : Venice, 1756: the city is at the height of its power. But as the madness of Carnival descends, a dark force stalks the gothic shadows. The body of Venice's brightest actor has been discovered: crucified, his eyes gouged out and lines of verse carved into his chest. The murderer, known only as Chimera, is determined to people the nine circles of Dante's Inferno with the traitorous, the depraved and the gluttonous. Only by releasing the Black Orchid, rake, gambler, lover and spy - a man awaiting his execution beneath the Bridge of Sighs - can the Doge of Venice put an end to the grotesque killings that threaten his power and his city. The Black Orchid follows the trail of the Chimera and finds himself drawn into the heart of a secret sect and a plot to bring about the downfall of Venice . . .