Shortlisted for the Gold Dagger
In the twenty-eigth novel in Donna Leon’s bestselling crime series, Commissario Guido Brunetti is drawn reluctantly into an old friend's long-hidden mystery.
The latest of Donna Leon's bestselling Venice crime novels
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why they're so intent on meddling in the old man's business.
Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service.
But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?
Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly follows the twists and turns of the human condition, set against the ebb and flow of Venetian life.
“Leon’s novels are unshowy and imbued with the humanist outlook that makes Brunetti such an appealing character.”
“[A] charming series, and it is a pleasure to spend time with Brunetti, his academic wife, Paola, and their children as they eat delicious food and drink good wine.”
“Once again, Leon transforms what might have been a straightforward mystery into something much richer and more resonant ... Far more than whodunit, the real subject of this novel (and Leon's work in general) is what we all do to one another.”
“Just as exciting as anything by Lee Child or Jeffrey Deaver.”
“Atmospheric, clever, witty and amusing. If I were only allowed to read one crime series again it would be that of Donna Leon.”