Transient Desires by Donna Leon

Transient Desires by Donna Leon

Leon's Commissario Brunetti series is an easy one to jump in and out of. Each book stands alone well. Yes, reading them in order would probably give you a fuller picture of how the characters change, or don't change, over time, and let you meet new characters when they're introduced. I don't feel like I've missed much by skipping around. As always, Transient Desires take place in Venice. The city is almost a character in and of itself. The city is full of both beautiful, old architecture and dark, dangerous alleys. It relies on tourism, but Venetians are contemptuous of the tourists. The picture of Venice is very vivid, which is a part of this series that I always enjoy. This time, the mystery starts with two young American women left severely injured outside a hospital. Finding out who the men were that dropped them off is easy enough, but leads to a much bigger situation, one that requires...
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Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon

Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon

I finished Doctored Evidence about a week ago- I'm a little behind on posting. The thing is, when I sat down to think about it, I remembered how unlikeable the victim was and really how good it was for the neighbor to come forward with her evidence that the maid, now dead too, was not guilty. What is took me a while to remember though was the killer's identity. I liked the basic plot - Brunetti sets out to clear the Romanian maid's name and find the real killer. It's the kind of thing he would do. I like Venice, the food and the characters as usual. I didn't care for the seven deadly sins conversations and obviously the mystery itself was not memorable. It had a lot to do with money and blackmail. Eh, maybe I've just read too many of hers lately. ...
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By Its Cover by Donna Leon

By Its Cover by Donna Leon

It's probably not a surprise to anyone that I'm a book lover, and I love the setting of the original crime here, a library in Venice. The descriptions of antique and rare books are fabulous. The original crime is that someone is stealing pages, mostly illustrations, from rare books as well as stealing whole books.  I really found the whole topic of book theft pretty interesting. Of course, the thefts are followed by a murder, but it takes a little while to get there. The investigation was not particularly interesting, but I do like Brunetti. He and Venice are what keep me returning to these books. This one wasn't as rich as some of the others, but it's an enjoyable, quick read. Once again, we have an abrupt ending, something I realize I should just expect from Leon. We learn who the killer was and the why, but there's no wrap up that's become traditional with mysteries. ...
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Trace Elements by Donna Leon

Trace Elements by Donna Leon

I've read many of the Brunetti series, but generally out of order. I like Brunetti. He's a reader and a thinker. He loves Venice, but isn't fond of the heat and the tourists. He's doesn't approve of the corruption but realizes that to some extent it's what makes Venice run. In Trace Elements, Brunetti and Claudia Griffoni are called to the bedside of a dying woman. She tells them that her husband was killed because of the "bad money," but dies before she can tell them more. With no real evidence of a crime, Brunetti and Griffoni start investigating, feeling they owe it to the dead woman. Their clues take them to a water testing lab where perhaps not everything is handled as it should be. The plot was just complicated enough. Of course, we know that it was a murder, it always is in these books, and we know that with Brunetti's perseverance and intuition, he and Griffoni will find...
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Willful Behavior by Donna Leon

Willful Behavior by Donna Leon

I don't read the Commissario Guido Brunetti series in order. I jump around depending on what's available at the library. The series is currently at 28, so Willful Behavior is toward the middle. Paola, Guido's wife, brings the case to his attention. One of her students has a question about receiving a pardon for her dead grandfather. She doesn't provide many clues, just enough to make Brunetti curious. And then she ends up dead, killed. This time the mystery involves events from World War II and Guido talks to his father-in-law and some friends about their experiences during the war and stories they've heard. The most interesting part of the story for me was the history of Italy during World War II. I honestly don't know much about Italy during that time period. World War II tends to come up in European mysteries much more than American ones, for obvious reason, but I still find it rather fascinating. Mussolini led Italy...
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Earthly Remains by Donna Leon

I've read or listened to a fair number of the Commissario Brunetti series, but I read them out of order. It's a bit of bad luck that both this and the one I listened to before it both deal with pollution. Yes, it's a topic Leon keeps coming back to, apparently a major issue in Venice, but usually it's spread out a little than it was for me this time. I would have liked a different topic, but that's more my fault than Leon's. I liked that Brunetti gets out of town for a while this time around. I enjoy the early part of the story where he's relaxing and rowing; it's different than we usually see him. I like the people in the smaller towns, their relationships. I enjoyed the bees and how much they meant to David Casati. I missed his family a bit, but I'm sure they'll be in the next one. The investigation was interesting, with it's digging into...
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