Sitara said, with awful distinctness, “I think I’m going to die.” And that’s how I got stuck with the annual corpse. Half an hour later I stood in an empty flat, alone with a stranger who was very recently, and very violently, dead.’ Rushing to Sitara’s aid, Lalli’s niece Sita is distracted by Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. Why is it monochrome? And what does it have to do with the body on the living-room floor? Such questions are hardly relevant to the police in their hunt for the murderer. But Lalli is a detective who revels in curiosities, and she thinks otherwise. A brisk thriller of deceit and intrigue, The Monochrome Madonna has Lalli at her most astute as she interprets the nuances of a murder without motive.