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From Sunday Times bestselling author Donna Leon comes the twenty-first instalment in the internationally acclaimed crime fiction series, featuring Commissario Brunetti who is called in to investigate a dark murder linked to Italy's meat industry.

When a man is found stabbed to death floating in the canal, Commissario Brunetti is convinced he recognises him from somewhere. But with no identification on the body and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, it seems as if he has appeared from nowhere, and the case is at a dead end.

It doesn’t take long for Brunetti to realise why he remembers the dead man – he saw him at a demonstration a couple of years ago, where farmers were protesting about European milk quotas. But what was his involvement with the protest, and could it have anything to do with his murder? Having nothing to go on but the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and a disease that had left his body strangely deformed, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello set out to try and discover the man’s identity. Their investigation eventually takes them to a slaughterhouse at Preganziol, on the mainland. It is there that Brunetti discovers the dead man’s connection with the slaughterhouse, and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it.

With a gripping case set before a harrowing exploration of the meat industry, Donna Leon’s latest novel is a dark and compelling addition to the Brunetti series.


Beastly Things is a perfect accompaniment to a hot day and a cool glass of white wine. Superb.


Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 1, 2013


    368 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook


    April 5, 2012

    Cornerstone Digital

    368 pages

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