Sunday, March 22, 2009
Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon
Protagonist: Commissario Guido Brunetti
This is only the second in the Brunetti series (now at 18 books), but Leon was already writing terrific police procedurals early on. In this one, Brunetti investigates the drowning of a young American soldier from the nearby base of Vicenza. Although his superior wants the case wrapped up soon – as a mugging gone wrong – Brunetti keeps at it, uncovering a conspiracy involving the dumping of toxic waste. He’s pulled from the case to investigate an art heist from a Grand Canal palazzo, but that turns out to have a connection to the murder, as well. With his superior caring more about politics, Brunetti’s hands are tied in dealing out justice – but there is a certain justice dealt out. Just as interesting are the characters and their interactions, especially those involving Brunetti’s family. His family life is described in loving, yet realistic, details, and we get to know a bit more about his father-in-law, a count with powerful ties.
Also looks interesting: I have not read this entirely, just perused: Brunetti's Venice by Toni Sepeda, with an introduction by Donna Leon. This newly released book is a tour guide of sorts. Sepeda gives authorized tours of sites mentioned in Leon's books, and this is an extension of those tours, complete with maps. I'll save this book for some future trip to Venice!