ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The annual Commissario Brunetti novel is always much anticipated! They may not be the best written crime novels, but they are amongst the most addictive, as the reader follows Guido through the twisty maze of Venetian calles and even twistier contemporary society. In this outing, he is asked by his wealthy and well-connected father-in-law to investigate an old family friend, Gonzalo, who is on the point of doing something so ridiculous as to make him a laughing stock and outcast from high society. Reluctantly Guido agrees to help, but before long Gonzalo dies of natural causes and there seems to be no need to continue. That is, until one of Gonzalo's dearest friends is murdered… As always, the city of Venice is a character, and the morally upright Brunetti and the way he deals with the dilemmas of crime and existence make for a satisfying read. Lindy Jones
In the twenty-eigth novel in Donna Leon’s bestselling crime series, Commissario Guido Brunetti is drawn reluctantly into an old friend's long-hidden mystery.
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man can’t be allowed his pleasure in peace.
Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service.
But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?
Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly follows the twists and turns of the human condition, set against the ebb and flow of Venetian life.