The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon
After the blazing heatwave we have all experienced, I am getting ready for Autumn. Already I am dreaming of crisp mornings, scarves and an autumnal coffee or two. Obviously this will be punctuated by our second summer, usually in October, which will see temperatures rise and summer dresses retrieved from the loft. But as I am still in a slightly summery mood, I thought we could visit our good friend Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti again and see how his holiday is faring in The Anonymous Venetian.
Commissario Brunetti's hopes of a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera, a body so badly beaten the face is unrecognisable.
Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the dead man. But he is met with a wall of silence.
Then he receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalising information. And before the night is out, Brunetti is confronting yet another appalling and apparently senseless death.
From the very start of the book, Donna Leon sets the scene beautifully. From workers at a slaughterhouse taking a smoking break, discovering a littered pair of shoes suitable for a wife, to finding a badly beaten body. The writing is sublime.
As always Guido is careful, gentle, astutely investigating the crime, picking his way through a closed maze of politics and secret societies.
Paola and his children remain in the mountains while Guido investigates this frustrating crime. And Guido misses them! But he ably assisted by a new addition, Patta's more than competent secretary Signorina Elletra. She transforms the office at the police station and is able to obtain information not previously known.
Guido is also forced to consult with Paola's father, a wealthy Venetian socialite which again provides a peek behind the curtain into Venetian society.
The crime investigation is satisfying and we really have a sense of threads being slowly unravelled and a story emerging.
I can't describe how much I am enjoying these novels, meeting with an old friend in Guido. I very much recommend these!