As Venice experiences a debilitating heatwave, Commissario Brunetti escapes the city to spend time with his family. For Ispettore Vianello, however, the weather is the last thing on his mind. It appears 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 trail her. Meanwhile, Brunetti receives a visit from a friend who works at the Commune. It seems that discrepancies have been occurring at the Courthouse involving a judge and an usher with a flawless track record. Intrigued, Brunetti asks Signorina Elettra to find out what she can while he's away. When news reaches Brunetti that the usher from the Courthouse has been viciously murdered, he returns to investigate. But why would someone want a good man dead, and what might his death have to do with the Courthouse discrepancies?
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Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers. She is an award-winning crime novelist, celebrated for the bestselling Brunetti series. Donna has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Donna's books have been translated into 35 languages and have been published around the world. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Fatal Remedies, Doctored Evidence, A Sea of Troubles and Beastly Things.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Leon’s many fans love this series for the Venetian setting, the complex family dynamics, and the hero’s mix of melancholy and compassion, and in this nineteenth installment, they get all of the above. It’s summer in the city for Commissario Guido Brunetti, whose family and colleagues are sweating out the heat wave in largely non-air-conditioned Venice. (Leon does weather as well as any contemporary crime novelist: from Acqua Alta (1996), in which rain-soaked streets became a vivid metaphor for the city’s corruption-drenched politics, to this novel, in which the inescapable heat evokes that same corruption and the way its stench pervades all aspects of society.) Working multiple cases, Brunetti is struggling to find an opportunity to escape with his family to the cool of the mountains, where he dreams of sleeping under an eiderdown quilt. One case involves an aunt’s colleague, who appears to be giving great amounts of cash to a religious charlatan, while another pits Brunetti against his usual adversaries: corrupt politicians (this time it’s a judge who delays trials for a hefty price). As always, Brunetti finds and agonizes over the human tragedies that lurk beneath the creases of criminal activity. He is in the business of assuaging pain rather than solving crimes, especially when the criminals are corrupt officials, who are as unstoppable as the heat is inescapable. Yes, they can be embarrassed, but “if embarrassment were a bar to advancement, there would be no government and no Church.” A unique combination of bedrock cynicism and warm humanity. --Bill Ott
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Book Description Random House Export, 2011. Book Condition: New. Ships from the UK. BRAND NEW. Bookseller Inventory # GRP78322982