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A Question of Belief (Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries) (A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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For Donna Leon's inimitable Guido Brunetti it seems the summer's heat is interminable but there's a light (a cool breeze?) just ahead--a vacation to the Alps to cool things off. At least that's what he's hoping. "Not only was it too hot to think about crossing the city to go home for lunch; it was too hot to think about eating."
Alas, in Ms Leon's 19th Brunetti case, "A Question of Belief," this is not to be.
While Brunetti and all of Venice may be suffering from the summer's heat, Leon's readers find this latest installment in a very successful series to be just what the doctor (or policeman) ordered: Leon at her best. A taut, tersely written tale that reaffirms our faith in this very popular author, whose talents and abilities in this genre keep producing winners!
Before Brunetti can take this family on vacation, needless to say, a murder is announced, to quote Miss Marple.
And, as usual with the Leon series, subplots support the storyline quite smartly. Inspector Vianello's aunt in mixed up with a charlatan horoscope guru; a corrupt judicial system is wrecking continued havoc and injustice as some judges become suspect; and the ramifications of the central murder are ever-widening.Read more ›
This time Paola and the kids are away cooling off in the mountains and, of Paola's parents, only her mother makes an appearance, and a brief one at that. Which leaves this story pretty much to Brunetti, Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra, with Patta contributing a couple of notable temper tantrums. As always, there are two cases. The major one centers on the murder of a gay civil servant who may or may not have been in cahoots with a bent judge; the secondary case involves a phony psychic who's bilking old ladies, among them Vianello's aunt. The story moves at a pace befitting enervating heat until, suddenly, we're only a few pages from the end and nothing's been solved and no one's been arrested. The end then comes quickly and is somewhat less than satisfying. I found myself wondering if Leon was herself nearly done in by a heatwave while writing this.
Because the lives of the characters in a Leon novel are as important to the stories as the crime solving, I always recommend reading her novels in as close to chronological order as you can get.Read more ›
Guido Brunetti -- whose austere view of Italian life, both public and private, underpins this remarkable series -- is reading Tacitus rather than Russian history. His books on Russian history are in the mountains with his vacationing family, while Brunetti swelters around Venice, returning home with a pizza to eat on his terrace "while drinking two beers and reading Tacitus, the bleakness of whose vision of politics was the only thing he could tolerate in this current state." (201)
As the Wikipedia quote suggests (oh come on, tell me you don't short-cut with it) Tacitus manages clarity of narrative and psychological insight while delivering a moral lesson.
So, too, does Donna Leon.
As other reviewers note, most of the loving and entertaining scenes of Brunetti/Falier family life are missing from this book. There are no luscious meals detailed from shopping through prep work, from serving to savoring, from second-helpings to dishwashing. Figs and prosciutto are all we get, and briefly. And yet it is faith in that family-life which constitutes the center holding Brunetti's cosmos intact. Early in the book we hear a shockingly frank rant from Paola about the power of belief over reason. Sparked by the sight of Brunetti's proposed reading on the Russian Revolution, Paola denounces her youthful political ideals in the most brutal yet of her recent self-fashionings:
"To think that I voted Communist.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Donna Leon continues to find creative ways to put us in Venice, and in the middle of interesting people's lives. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Philip Hadley
I have never read a Donna Leon novel before and I suspect that I didn’t start with her strongest work. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ZC
It’s always a pleasure to read a novel featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, a goodhearted man for whom all police work is a question of ethics and justice. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Linda Pagliuco
Among other strengths, Donna Leon is a master of dialogue. Commisario Brunetti's exchanges with the inestimable Signorina Elettra never fail to delight, and you're invited to sit... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jake Stanley
The Brunetti stories are always enjoyable. As I read them, the characters develop. The city plays the major role. The criminal investigation is more of an aside. .Published 8 months ago by Johan R v W
Donna Leon has done it again!! I am well familiar with Venice and it is like going back home!! No matter the circumstances of Brunetti's cases, it feels like you are there visiting... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kerstin Smith