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By its Cover: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Hardcover – April 1, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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In another of Leon's bestselling Guido Brunetti mysteries, the Commissario is called to a prestigious Venetian library to investigate the theft of pages from rare travel books. At first the case seems clear-cut, then a brutal murder changes everything.
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Fortunately, Leon seems to have developed a way of writing about the myriad of topics she is interested in, and still write puzzling mysteries with plenty of atmosphere for her old fans. By Its Cover begins right away with a promising crime, the theft of rare books from a Venice library. The pace is leisurely, lots of interviews and chasing down clues, and there's no murder until over halfway through the book. But that's appropriate for the setting, La Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic of Venice. No car chases here.
Though Brunetti seeks computer-wizard Signorina Elettra's help, she is unable to provide easy answers (as she has in past cases), so he has to rely on traditional police methods. This is much more satisfying in my opinion, since there are no magic answers pulled from the internet. Logic and evidence have to do the trick.
Meanwhile, Donna Leon is keeping up an impressive pace of writing lately. In addition to the annual Brunetti mystery, there was a collection of essays last December (My Venice), a non-Brunetti non-murder mystery (The Jewels of Paradise), and coming in April, a book about gondola building and gondola music (Gondola).
(Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for a review copy.)
But somethin' went very wrong with this one. VERY thin story, and no backfill. In spots, it reads more like a travelogue for "Visit Venice" than a mystery novel. I swear when I was about to go to the next chapter, it was over - just like that!
Skip this puppy.
Every word Leon offers us leads to a deeper understanding of the tangled web of Italian politics and corruption. She jabs at the neglectful bureaucrats in charge of history and the environment. She prods the policia along a wobbly line of justice.
Most recent customer reviews
Fully developed, compatible, getting to know them more with each book, becoming comfortable reading their stories
Leon is excellent storyteller in...Read more