Books: Morality Whodunit

A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE (312 pp.)—Werner Bergengruen—Thames & Hudson ($3).

The evil that the people of Cassano did one Renaissance summer may not have lived after them, but it certainly mushroomed mightily for a while. What started it all was commonplace enough for an Italian city state of those Machiavellian times. The Grand Prince's political emissary, one Fra Agostino. had been stabbed to death, and in the Prince's own garden. The Prince, a handsome, subtle and benevolent tyrant, not only wanted to know who had done it but he wanted to know within...

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