Friday, February 19, 2016

Dear Great Book Guru,  The winds are howling, the rains are torrential, the schools are closed- a perfect day for a good mystery…Can you recommend one?  Mystery Maven

Dear Mystery Maven,  I just finished  Donna Leon’s  FALLING IN LOVE. This is Leon’s 24th “Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery and while not as fine as some of her others, it is always great fun to be back in majestic, magical Venice with Guido Brunetti.  All twenty four of these novels are set in present day Venice and while there is usually an attempted murder or two, their appeal lies largely in the  characters of Brunetti, a world weary lover of opera, fine food and  wines, and the Greek philosophers-  his  university professor wife who is an expert on the novels of   Henry James- and his colorfully described co-workers at police headquarters: the Questura  This latest in the series brings back  Diva Flavia Petrelli whom we first met in Leon’s earliest novel DEATH AT LA FENICE  . The opera star comes to her old friend Brunetti, bewildered by an outpouring of lavishly excessive gifts  of flowers and jewels from an unknown admirer.     If you haven’t read Leon before, start with her first and work your way through the series so you can see her characters develop and her dismay with Venetian politics grow.  Recommended!

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