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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Donna Leon

I really enjoy Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti crime novels and the latest - A Question of Belief is excellent. Venice is sweltering in the heat and humidity of August. Brunetti is about to go on holiday with his family when two potential problems come his way. His colleague - Vianello - is worried about his favourite aunt who seems to be spending a lot of money on fortune tellers and charlatans; and he is presented with a list of court cases featuring the same judge and court clerk which appear suspicious.

Brunetti asks Elettra - his boss's secretary - to do some research for him and the results lead him to think there may be something serious going on in both cases. Neither seem urgent so he sets off on holiday by train. He has not reached his destination when he is called back to Venice. The court clerk has been murdered.

What follows is a convoluted and very satisfying story involving influence and privilege and some very mixed motives. Excellent reading as ever and better than a guide book for getting to know Venice.

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