a question of belief

Title: A Question of Belief (Commissario Brunetti #19)

Author: Donna Leon

Published: 2010

Category: Mystery

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Add: Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository

Commissario Guido Brunetti must contend with ingenious corruption, bureaucratic intransigence, and the stifling heat of a Venetian summer. As he plans a trip to the mountains with his family, he learns that cases at the local court — hardly known as a model of efficiency — are being delayed to the benefit of one of the parties. A creative new trick for corrupting the system, perhaps, but what can Brunetti do about it? Just when it looks like he will be able to get away, a shocking, violent crime forces him to stay in Venice.

This is one of those series I’m listening to out-of-order, based on what our library has available on audio. This one was actually read by a different narrator than the others, David Colacci, and while he did a good job, it took me a little while to get used to him. I tend to associate a voice with the series I listen to and it throws me a little when they change it up.

Venice itself is one of the reasons I keep returning to this series. Leon really brings the city to life, good and bad. This time around it’s summer and the heat is oppressive, but Brunetti ends up stuck in Venice, missing his family’s vacation to the mountains. His family is not as present in this installment as they are in some of the others, but the bits we get with them are nice. They feel like real people and I actually adore how much both Brunetti and his wife love to read. The books are the first thing they pack for vacation, clothes come second.

So, I love the series, but A Question of Belief was just so-so for me. I like Brunetti, as always, and his right hand, Vianello. Vianello actually opens this book, concerned about his aunt’s preoccupation with fortune-tellers and card readers. That was actually the part of the plot I liked, where his aunt’s gullibility leads the investigation. The murder that keeps Brunetti in town, along with the eventual discovery of the killer and the motive left me a little cold. Leon uses her stories to explore politics and social prejudices, and I appreciate that, I just wasn’t hooked by the form that took here. But Brunetti follows the clues in his intelligent, calm way and gets to the solution.

Commissario Guido Brunetti Series

  1. Death  at La Fenice
  2. Death in a Strange Country
  3. Dressed for Death (APA: The Anonymous Venetian)
  4. Death and Judgment (APA: A Venetian Reckoning)
  5. Acqua Alta (APA: Death in High Water)
  6. Death of Faith (APA: Quietly in Their Sleep)
  7. A Noble Radiance
  8. Fatal Remedies
  9. Friends in High Places
  10. A Sea of Troubles
  11. Wilfull Behavior
  12. Uniform Justice
  13. Doctored Evidence
  14. Blood from a Stone
  15. Through a Glass Darkly
  16. Suffer the Little Children
  17. The Girl of His Dreams
  18. About Face
  19. A Question of Belief
  20. Drawing Conclusions
  21. Beastly Things

Challenge: WAYR