When the body of an wealthy elderly woman is found, brutally murdered in her Venetian flat, it is soon clear to the police that the prime suspect is her Rumanian maid, who has disappeared and is heading for Rumania. When the woman is approached by the border police as her train is leaving Italy, she makes a run for it and is killed as she crosses ...
When the body of an wealthy elderly woman is found, brutally murdered in her Venetian flat, it is soon clear to the police that the prime suspect is her Rumanian maid, who has disappeared and is heading for Rumania. When the woman is approached by the border police as her train is leaving Italy, she makes a run for it and is killed as she crosses the tracks in front of an oncoming train. She has a considerable sum of money on her and her papers are obvious forgeries. Case closed. But when the old woman's neighbour returns from a business trip in London, it becomes clear that the maid could not have had time to kill the old woman before catching her train, and that the money on her was not stolen. Commissario Brunetti decides - unofficially - to take the case on himself. As Brunetti learns more of the old woman's family, it becomes clear that this is probably not a crime motivated by greed, rather that the probable motive connects with the temptations of lust. But perhaps Brunetti is following a false trail and thinking of the wrong deadly sin altogether ...
Commissario Guido Brunetti stories are some of the most delightful books available today. Guido and his family are reminders of life in a simpler time. It harkens back to a more leisurely time in America; I remember (all seven of us) sitting together for a meal and discussing things of the day with my parents. None of us would think of missing a family meal.
The reason for the story happened while Guido and family were on vacation in Ireland. A miserly old woman was bludgeoned to death in her home. She had a Romanian housekeeper (and personal slave) who was instantly declared the murderer when it was found that she had left the home with a large amount of money and boarded a train for home.
Unfortunately, when accosted by the police at a station close to the border, she ran across the tracks and was struck by a train. Three weeks after the case was closed, a neighbor comes to the police station and offers a very different story about the Romanian woman; Lt. Scarpa scoffs at her story and then sends her to Commissario Brunetti ? to get the truth from her.
As Brunetti investigates discretely (because neither his boss nor Lt. Scarpa want the case reopened). He finds that things are not as simple as the police surmised. The author isn't above describing the corruption in Italy ? people cheat on their taxes, government employees give lucrative contracts to friends/family, politicians are caught with their hands in the taxpayer's till often.
Through all of this, Brunetti stays true to his moral compass and his pursuit of injustice and crimes. Paola, Guido's wife, always has her dander up about something; she is a perfect balance to Brunetti's calm.
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 Behaviour (2002)
12. Uniform Justice (2003)
13. Doctored Evidence (2004)
Apr 10, 2009
Following Commissair Guido Brunetti around Venice as he unfolds the solution to the crime is absorbing and entertaining. In the face of corruption and futility, he manages to give the reader what we want.
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