I get this uneasy feeling that "Venice in winter" becomes a template for writers who want an easy way out looking for an unsettling place. Of course it all started with "Don't look now", but Daphne du Maurier did write a chilling story about a chilling off-season Venice. But then all kinds of strange stories popped up with Venice, labyrinths, chilling, murder, paranormal. Carnival for the Dead is one of them.
And yet it's a nice read. Nice fluff. A standard crime story in the end, Carnival for the Dead makes you hanging on to the story, which is meant as a compliment.
I haven't read any other book from Hewson, but I understand Theresa Lupo isn't the protagonist in his many other books. And I wonder: is Theresa Italian? Or is she Italian as English (and other) people think Italians are? Especially the male species. I didn't find it convincing.
Although the book is a fun read, I missed any connection to the bad guy. We only learn about him 80% into the book and by then it's clear this man is a one-dimensional character. No real surprises. And the closing chapters don't make the story any better: so, we get an explanation. So, it's writtten in a way that suspects the author wanted some supernatural glow. Alas. It all disappears, and it's not clear why the murderer and Theresa's helping hand are left in the dark. Omitting a name doesn't make them mysterious. It only makes them anonymous.
But then again, this is a friendly story about friendly people dealing with an unfriendly guy. That should keep you occupied for a few hours.