I noticed that some of the places mentioned in this story are highlighted on the map of Venice that appears on the inside of the book's covers. Anyone researching the places mentioned in Leon's books will find this map helpful. However, the places that Brunetti stops for coffee, pizza, and sandwiches are not noted on the map.
This book is a laid back murder story, occurring in the hot month of August in Venice, as the murder occurs only at the halfway point in the book. As is usual in detective stories, a lot of space is given to following up leads, interviewing the victims/suspects/witnesses, describing the personal lives of the characters, the problems at work, and, in this story, particularly, how uncomfortable high summer temperatures can be. Additionally, Leon throws in commentary about corruption of Venetian politicians and the flaws of the judiciary system. A minor plot about scamming elderly women /vulnerable people also allows her to expand on her observations about human behavior. Sometimes all of these observations are more interesting than the final unveiling of the murderer. Leon has a knack for describing a Venice not seen by tourists. It was an enjoyable read on a cold day.
At first it appears that not much is happening except the heat and Vianello's aunt giving away her money to a charlatan. Paperwork fills Brunetti's days and bring to the surface a new kind of corruption. Then a murder pulls both Vianello and Brunetti away from their longed-for vacations, and a quiet August erupts into a great deal of complexity indeed. As often happens in Venice, everything's connected to everything else, and Brunetti and Vianello must sort it out, with the help of Signorina Elletra. While I wasn't as satisfied as with some of the more recent outings, I enjoyed this one--except for the heat.
The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.
Brunetti's partner Vianello's aunt is withdrawing large sums of money from her bank; an acquaintance from the Commune comes with evidence of disturbing delays in court cases. The Brunettis plan to escape Venice for an August vacation in the Alps as this is Europe's very hot summer. Paola is making her reading choices! Then, there is a good man's murder?
As always Brunetti, Vianello, the remarkable Signorina Elettra and the familiar cast of colleagues?the good and not so good?in the Questura are back at solving crimes, whether or not there is ever evidence or political will to bring about justice. This series of detective fiction just never fails to satisfy and this one makes you think a little about the things people do for love.
Not her best. Not much happens. Unsatisfying ending.
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