I don't know why I hadn't read The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke awhile ago, since I had read Inkspell and Inkheart and loved them, but I read it last week and loved it. I probably enjoyed it more than most people because I feel the same way about Venice as Prosper (the main character in the book) does. The book is set in Venice - it's about two brothers who run away from their guardians - an aunt and uncle. They go to Venice because their mother always told them how wonderful Venice is. They end up living with three other children (orphans) in an empty abandoned movie theatre. The Thief Lord finds the theatre for them and supposedly steals items and then sells them to support the children. The Thief Lord is a child himself - probably about 12 or so. He comes to visit them and eats with them, but never spends the night.
The aunt and her husband come to Venice (they're German) as they've heard that Prosper and Bo are there. They hire a detective (who loves disguises of all kinds) to find the boys. The aunt only wants Bo because he's about five and looks like an angel with blond curls. Prosper or Prop as he's called is too old at 11 thus he will be sent to a boarding school. The boys are inseparable, so they ran away and ended up in Venice.
The other children - a bookworm girl about Prop's age and two boys - one who likes to steal and one who isn't wanted at home all get along well with Prop and Bo. The Thief Lord sells his stolen items to a greedy antique dealer, who offers him a job from a count. It involves a lady photographer and a old wing from a lion on a carousel. The carousel is magic.
Of course, the Thief Lord actually is a spoiled little rich boy who wants to be a grown up and is only pretending to steal things from his father's house. There are multiple mini-plots which make this an eventful and fascinating book. The references to the churches and plazas of Venice just added to my enjoyment of the book.
Eventually all the pieces of the plot are resolved - some expected and some unexpectedly. I highly recommend this as a teen adventure/action book with enough twists for everyone.