The new novel from Donna Leon, the Sunday Times bestselling author of About Face
As Venice experiences a debilitating heatwave, Commissario Brunetti prepares to escape the city and spend time with his family in the mountains. However, the weather is the last thing on Ispettore Vianello’s mind; it seems his aunt has become obsessed with horoscopes and has been withdrawing large amounts of money from the family business. Not knowing what to do, he consults Brunetti and asks permission to unofficially trail her, which leads to the flat of Stefano Gorini. But who is this man? And why is Vianello’s aunt giving him large amounts of money?
A few days later, Brunetti receives a visit from a friend who works at the Commune. It seems that discrepancies have been occurring at the Tribunale involving Judge Luisa Coltellini and Araldo Fontana, an usher with a flawless track record. While having coffee with friends Signorina Elettra soon discovers that Fontana is living in a luxurious apartment on the Misericordia. But how can an usher afford such an expensive apartment, and what is his involvement with Judge Coltellini? Brunetti asks Signorina Elettra to investigate further but the computer system at the courthouse is down, and so Brunetti leaves with his family for their holiday. When news reaches Brunetti that the usher from the Tribunale has been murdered, in a violent attack in the courtyard of his home, he returns early to investigate. It soon becomes clear that Araldo Fontana was a good man, so why would someone want him dead? And, does Judge Coltellini have anything to do with it?
“Leon's books are a joy, and the 19th Venice-based Commissario Brunetti novel is well up to her consistently high standard”
“Leon excels in the claustrophobia of families, the Italian class system and the sinister aspects of Venice that the tourists don't see.”
Marcel Berlins, The Times
“To read a Donna Leon novel is to have an armchair holiday in her lovingly described Venice, in the company of an old friend - the amiable Commissario Brunetti...Leon never fails to impress with her carefully wrought plots and believable characters.”
“Knowingness, or an illusion of knowingness, is essential to successful crime-writing...Donna Leon has mastered this technique perfectly.”
Jonathan Keates, TLS
“Donna Leon has established a special hold on the reader's imagination, so it is almost easier to imagine the Commissario returning to lunch with his feisty wife, just round the corner, than almost any other fiction character in the immortal (we hope) city...A Question of Belief is particularly enjoyable...Donna Leon's great skill is to invest the characters in her crime novels with a kind of humanity, even the wrongdoers....[a] marvellous evocation of the magic city, and its inhabitants of all types.”
Antonia Fraser, The Lady
“we could recognise her characters as easily as our colleagues if we saw them on the bus...an absorbing, portentfull depiction of Italian society, where superstition and old taboos still exert a powerful grip. Brunetti is in typically quizzical form. Shrewd yet appealingly emotional, he acts as a seductive guide to a country, and a city, depicted as slowly sinking under the weight of legal sleight-of-hand and pernicious networks of influence among the great and the good.”
Rosemary Goring, The Herald
“A welcome addition to a hugely popular series with an unparalleled feel for the glorious city of Venice.”
Waterstones Books Quarterly