Dear Great Book Guru, There are many things I miss during the pandemic, but I especially miss traveling. We had many trips planned for 2020 and all have been cancelled. Could you recommend a book that will transport me to a faraway place at least in my imagination? A Wishful Traveler
Dear Wishful Traveler, I know the feeling – we keep wondering if we will ever revisit one of our favorite destinations - magical, magnificent Venice - but I do have a vicarious literary alternative: TRACE ELEMENTS by Donna Leon. This is Leon’s 29th Guido Brunetti mystery set as always in Venice, and once again offering us a glimpse into the many facets of life in this most beautiful of cities. Her mysteries are always more about moral dilemmas than actual crimes. There is little overt violence and often a morally ambiguous ending. Leon calls herself an eco- detective because she writes about ecologically damaging crimes. In this novel, a young widow asks Brunetti to investigate the death of her husband. The husband had been employed by a testing company that measured the cleanliness of Venice’s water supply. Shortly after submitting questionable results, he died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. What seemed like a private tragedy, is soon revealed to have much wider implications. All of Venice is endangered and Brunetti wonders what a good man can do in the face of a global catastrophe. A disturbing call to action and highly recommended!