Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Trace Elements

Friday, March 6, 2020

Trace Elements (2020) Donna Leon (Commissario Guido Brunetti)

Trace ElementsBook 29 of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.

Brunetti and Griffoni go to a hospice because a dying woman wants to talk to them. Her husband recently was killed in a car accident, and she seems to be telling them that he was killed.

Brunetti finally accepted the appalling thought: a dying woman put out on the street because she couldn’t pay for the hospital. Where were they, for God’s sake, America?

Meanwhile, Patta wants two Rom girls who are regularly picked up for pick-pocketing taken off the streets–at least for a few days while a magazine article is lauding Venice.

‘If this goes public, it will cause me nothing but trouble, Brunetti. I’m in the middle of buying an apartment, and if this gets out of hand, the mayor might force them to transfer me somewhere else. It has to be contained.’

Though with the terrible heat wave, it doesn’t seem like anyone would want to actually be in Venice.

As usual, I enjoyed the mystery here–even if it ends (as it usually does) ambiguously.

And I do love the little cultural bits that are so strange to me and yet so lovely.

(T)o Griffoni, whom she obviously had not seen since Signora Toso’s death, she added, ‘I’m terribly sorry about what happened.’

Griffoni nodded her thanks but failed to speak. Instead, she raised a hand and threw open her palm, as if to release the dead woman’s spirit into the air.

The three of them remained silent for enough time to allow that spirit to escape the room.

As most of the recent Burnetti books have been, there is a pretty heavy environmental aspect to the story–both with the heat wave and with the work of the man who was killed in a traffic accident. I agree with everything she is getting at, but I still think some of it is a bit heavy handed.

There was one strange bit, in that Scarpa comes up, but then that plot line is completely dropped. It comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere, so I’m not sure why it was even mentioned.

But, it was still a lovely escape to Venice.

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: 7.5/10, Mystery, Police
Tags: ,
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