“A dramatic and deeply satisfying climax . . . a high-stakes mystery in which the setting vibrates with as much life as the story itself.” —Publishers Weekly
As Venice braces for a winter tempest, intrepid Italian sleuth Commissario Guido Brunetti finds out that an archaeologist and old friend has been savagely beaten at the palazzo home of opera singer Flavia Petrelli.
Then, as the floodwaters rise, the corpse of a museum director is discovered—and Brunetti must wade through the chaotic city to solve his deadliest case yet.
“An evocative peep into the dark underworld of the beauteous city.” —Time Out London
“A superb police detective.” —Library Journal
Also published under the title Death in High Water
In Leon's fifth Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery, the beating of renowned art historian Dotoressa Brett Lynch draws the contemporary Venetian police detective out of his warm and loving home and into the yearly onslaught of acqua alta, the torrential winter rains. Brett, an American who spearheaded a recent exhibition of Chinese pottery in Venice, lives with her lover, Flavia Petrelli, the reigning diva of La Scala. With his open mind and good sense, Brunetti finds himself more fazed by Flavia's breathtaking talent than by the nontraditional relationship between the two women. Brunetti's deliberate and humane investigation to uncover a motive for Brett's beating takes him to dark, wet corners of Venice and into a sinister web of art theft, fakery and base human desires. While there may be a whiff of stereotype in Brunetti's assumptions about a character of Sicilian heritage, the action builds to a dramatic and deeply satisfying climax. Intricate and intimate descriptions of Venetian life fill these pages and prove that Leon has once again created a high-stakes mystery in which the setting vibrates with as much life as the story itself.