A moody mystery set in Italy from the New York Times–bestselling author: “One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.” —The Washington Post
Guido Brunetti has to deal every day with crimes big and small, suffocating corruption, and a never-ending influx of tourists. But at least he gets to do it in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In this mystery in the bestselling series, the police commissioner’s endurance will truly be tested.
During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break. Granted leave from the Questura, he accompanies his wife to a villa on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History. That is until the caretaker of the house, a widowed beekeeper, goes missing following a sudden storm, and Brunetti must set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to a man who had become a friend.
From a Silver Dagger Award–winning author, this is a poignant novel featuring Guido Brunetti, “a superb police detective—calm, deliberate, and insightful” (Library Journal).
Bestseller Leon's enticing 26th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2016's The Waters of Eternal Youth) finds the Venetian policeman at headquarters one hot July day, questioning an arrogant lawyer accused of drugging a young woman he met at a party who subsequently died. When Brunetti has a heart seizure during this contentious interview, he winds up in the hospital. Prescribed complete rest, he later takes his wife's suggestion of staying at a villa on a sparsely inhabited island in the Venetian Lagoon. There he befriends Davide Casati, the villa's caretaker and a keeper of bees, some of which are mysteriously dying. Then, during a fierce storm, Davide disappears. Brunetti undertakes a search that leads to the discovery of his friend's body and boat. Was Davide's death an accident? He had been grief stricken since his wife's death, Brunetti learns, and recently remorseful over the demise of his beloved bees. Along the way to the poignant ending, Brunetti develops insights into nature and humankind's failure to protect it, as well as the nature of guilt and its role in a man's life.)