“Masterful . . . Brunetti allows readers to share his belief that decency and honesty can, for a little while, stave off the angst of the modern world.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
With his hometown of Venice, Italy, beset by hordes of tourists and baking under a glaring sun, Guido Brunetti’s greatest wish is to go to the mountains with his family, where he can sleep under a down comforter and catch up on his reading. But before he can go on vacation, a folder with court records has landed on his desk, brought by an old friend. It appears that cases at the local court—hardly known as a model of efficiency—are being delayed to the benefit of one of the parties. A creative new trick for corrupting the system, perhaps, but what can Brunetti do about it?
But just when it looks like Brunetti will be able to get away, a shocking, violent crime forces him to stay in the simmering city, in this atmospheric mystery in the New York Times–bestselling series.
“Leon creates such a rich sense of place that reading often feels like a slow vaporetto ride through the swelteringly humid canals of Venice, past splendid bridges and palazzi with time out for tramezzini and rich Italian coffee.” —The Boston Globe
Set during an oppressive Venetian August, Leon's masterful 19th Commisario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2009's About Face\n) presents Brunetti with two puzzles that impinge on his most intimate beliefs. Close associate Ispettore Vianello, who's worried about his elderly aunt's involvement with an astrologer, nudges Brunetti toward ruminations on the differences in male and female evidences of affection. Meanwhile, Toni Brusca, head of employment records at the Commune, who's perplexed by a female judge's erratic court case postponements, surprises Brunetti by implying that a woman could be more criminal than a man. Brunetti patiently untangles a sordid skein of desires warped, trusts abused, and loves distorted into depravity. As one good man who still believes in the rule of law despite his disgust at Italy's mounting corruption, Brunetti allows readers to share his belief that decency and honesty can, for a little while, stave off the angst of the modern world. \n