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Death at La Fenice

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Death at La Fenice (1992) Donna Leon (Commissario Brunetti)

Death at la FeniceA famous conductor is found dead during the intermission of the opera he was conducting. The police are called, and so we are first introduced to Guido Brunetti, Comissario of the Venice police.

What surprises me every time I re-read this is just how good it is for the first book in the series, and how Brunetti here–although he grows and changes over the series, is at his heart the same man we find over the years. He is good and kind, he seeks justice, and he is disgusted by so much of Italian politics and bureaucracy.

Whoever had received permission to alter the external structure of a building this old, Brunetti reflected, either had powerful friends or had blackmailed both the mayor and the city planner.

Even Patta is much as you find in throughout the series.

Patta, then added, ‘Is she pretty?’ Brunetti realized Patta must have found out about the difference in age between the dead man and his widow.

‘If you like tall blondes,’ Brunetti said.

‘Don’t you?’

‘My wife doesn’t permit me to, sir.’

One of the things I adore most about this series are the descriptions of the city–especially the little things.

A single flight of stairs lay off to the right, and he began to climb, noting with pleasure the slight concavity that hundreds of years of use had hollowed out of each step. He liked the way the declivity forced him to walk up the centre of the staircase.

The mystery is good, and it always pleases me how this story stands up to my memory.

Publisher : Grove Press
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, Mystery, Police, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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