The new novel from Donna Leon, the Sunday Times bestselling author of A Question of Belief
Donna Leon's previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti include Friends in High Places (which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction), Blood from a Stone, Through a Glass, Darkly and Suffer the Little Children.
This fine novel is Leon's (A Question of Belief) 20th mystery featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, the unparalleled Venetian police investigator who enlivens this intelligent series. This time, Brunetti takes on a particularly complicated case involving the suspicious death of an elderly woman, infinitely more suspicious wills and beneficiaries, and the theft of valuable drawings. All of this, of course, is related to relentless greed at the heart of so many crimes. Leon's artistry, however, guarantees that nothing is ever simple. As always, Brunetti's investigative acumen, his patience, and, most of all, his profound comprehension of the human psyche enable him to bring the case to a closure of sorts. Yet the powerful conclusion does not, in fact, directly divulge the solution, and it is this haunting ambiguity that renders Drawing Conclusions Leon's most provocative novel to date. Ultimately, Brunetti's exemplary wisdom, mercy, and kindness offer hope to us all. VERDICT Aficionados of literary mysteries such as those written by P.D. James and Michael Dibdin will revel in this stellar book. If you read only one mystery this year, make it this one. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]-Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Leon's fine 20th Commisario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2010's A Question of Belief) explores violence against women and the treatment of the elderly. The Venetian medical examiner has ruled that Costanza Altavilla, a widow in her 60s, died of a heart attack, but Brunetti has his doubts. The discovery of several changes of clothes in various sizes in the deceased's modest apartment and Brunetti's talks with the insightful Signorina Elettra reveal that Altavilla was running a safe house for women escaping domestic violence. Could one of the abusive men have confronted Altavilla and scared her to death? Brunetti's investigation takes him to an old-age home, where Altavilla volunteered, in search of answers. Leon provides a vivid view of Venice, balancing the city's "glory days" with the reality of "the flaking dandruff of sun-blasted paint peeling from shutters." Compassionate yet incorruptible, Brunetti knows that true justice doesn't always end in an arrest or a trial. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[Leon's] portrait of Venice and modern Italy is, as always, captivating...The lively conversations between...characters, displaying Leon's sly humour, are a delight." * Evening Standard * "With characteristic skill, Leon draws together multiple threads and a well-rounded cast ... With the steady, unsentimental style that has become her signature, Donna Leon keeps us hesitating until the last corner is turned." * Times Literary Supplement * "Leon's clear-eyed descriptions of Venice still make you long to return to the calles and campos of the floating city." * Sunday Telegraph * "More elegant, understated crime fighting from the mistress of La Serinissima...A welcome return to the comfortable characters and locations that her fans have come to love." * Independent * "[Leon] is a master at weaselling her way into the venal byways of human selfishness and laying them bare. ... There's a quietness to the crimes here that is more powerful than outlandish violence, and which points to the philosophical bedrock from which Leon so effectively works." * Scottish Sunday Herald *