Another Gem from Donna Leon's Pen May 26, 2014
To describe this book in one word, I?d use ?subtle.? We see less of the Brunetti family but more of the people, places and institutions of Venice. As usual, the author takes a swipe at some aspects of Italian life ? corruption and the clergy are two of her favorites. However, this book takes a look at domestic violence and elder care.
Before I go into the meat of the review, I must admit that I've always wondered how costly homes were in Venice. Donna Leon offers some insight in this book. A couple from this story have the opportunity to purchase a Venetian home of 180 square meters for 150,000 Euros. The house works out to be about 1937 sq. ft., for $210,000. Brunetti states that the house should have been sold for 3 times that amount ($630,000) but was worth 10 times the original amount in today's money ($2.1 million). That is a shocking amount of money for a house with less than 2000 sq. ft.
Brunetti is called from a dull meal with Vice-Questore Patta and Lt. Scarpa to check on the latest fatality ? a retired school teacher who seems to have died of a heart attack but has troubling marks on her body. As usual, Brunetti is unwilling to label the death as an accident until he's taken a look at the facts surrounding the death.
Leon does an interesting bit of foreshadowing when Brunetti mulls over a question (to paraphrase): If a person burns down a house, and unbeknownst to the arsonist, there's a person inside, is it murder?
Because less time is spent with Brunetti's family, there's more emphasis on Inspector Vianello and Signorina Elettra's computer genius. We also have the opportunity to see Brunetti as more than the purveyor of justice ?. We see him as a compassionate policeman.
Guido Brunetti Series
1. Death at La Fenice (1992)
2. Death in a Strange Country (1993)
3. The Anonymous Venetian (1994) aka Dressed for Death
4. A Venetian Reckoning (1995) aka Death and Judgment
5. Acqua Alta (1996) aka Death in High Water
6. The Death of Faith (1997) aka Quietly in Their Sleep
7. A Noble Radiance (1997)
8. Fatal Remedies (1999)
9. Friends in High Places (2000)
10. A Sea of Troubles (2001)
11. Willful Behavior (2002)
12. Uniform Justice (2003)
13. Doctored Evidence (2004)
14. Blood from a Stone (2005)
15. Through a Glass Darkly (2006)
16. Suffer the Little Children (2007)
17. The Girl of His Dreams (2008)
18. About Face (2009)
19. A Question of Belief (2010)
20. Drawing Conclusions (2011)