On a spring day in Venice, Commissario Brunetti and his assistant Vianello play hooky to help Vianello's friend Marco Ribetti, arrested during an environmental protest. They secure his release, only to be faced with the fury of the man's father-in-law, Giovanni De Cal, who has made violent threats against Ribetti. Brunetti's curiousity is piqued, and he finds himself drawn to investigate. Is De Cal the type of man to carry out his threats? When the body of De Cal's bookish night watchman is found in front of the blazing furnace, he wonders: Could the old man have killed him?
American author, Donna Leon, has settled nicely into a series of crime novels set in Venice, Italy entitled, Brunettixote. The novels feature the fictional character of Commissario Guido Brunetti.
Leon was born in 1942, and eventually lived in Venice, Italy for over 30 years. She was an English literature lecturer for the University of Maryland in Europe (Italy), and worked on a military base in Italy for several years, before she became a full time writer. She moved to Zurich, Switzerland, and also had a home in a smaller Swiss village.
The novels have been translated from English into several foreign languages, but for some reason the author did not approve them being translated into Italian. German television has shown 22 Commissario Brunetti episodes that they produced for broadcast.
Once again Donna Leon and David Colacci pair to create an entertaining listen. Ms. Leon's book is brought to life by Mr. Colacci who is an old friend of Commissario Brunetti's by now. With Brunetti it does not seem odd that a modern detective would flit between current pollution issues and Dante's Divine Comedy. The author adroitly sets the stage for a crime that doesn't occur until well into the book but the story never falters. This is not great literature but it is extremely well written and very entertaining. As usual this is not a book you want to listen to on an empty stomach for Brunetti's meals will drive you to the nearest restaurant in search of meal half as memorable as his everyday fare.
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