Death In A Strange Country by Donna Leon

Death In A Strange Country by Donna Leon

Death in a Strange Country is the second in the long-running series featuring Guido Brunetti, Commissario of the Venice Police. I’ve read several of them, usually out of order. Brunetti is a good character and I like that he has a lovely, intelligent, supportive wife and kids who are pretty typical. This is an early look into the Brunetti family, which is nice. His father-in-law is more present here than in some others; he has enough power to be a force in the city, but even he has limits. Leon also does a fabulous job of bringing Venice to life, the places, the food, the people. The story begins when a body is discovered in a canal. It looks like a simple mugging, but of course, it leads to a much bigger case. Leon's books often have topics in addition to the murder plot. Here it's toxic dumping, environmental issues, and of course corruption. The plot was well-done and the tension...
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Bread by Scott Cutler Shershow

Bread by Scott Cutler Shershow

The other day I listened to a short book about pepper and today it's a book about bread. And I've gone from a funny, conversational writer/interviewer to a formal, slightly pretentious author. Can you tell which I liked better? My boss recommended I read Bread and handed me his copy. He said it changed that way he looked at bread and would definitely change his next Communion sermon, so I was expecting it to be interesting and at just over 100 pages, a quick read. I was disappointed. While the author clearly loved bread and has a lot to say, it was too philosophical for me. When he ventured into history and social status I found it interesting and even the religion up to a point, most of the time I found myself marveling about just how much this guy could contemplate bread. This counts as 3 pts in the COYER Treasure Hunt (a book with One Word Title). ...
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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca was a re-read for me, but the last time I read it I was probably in high school. I had a basic idea of the storyline, but didn't remember a lot of the details. I honestly expected to love it, but instead I felt like I was slogging through it. The heroine is unnamed through the entire novel and it is told in the first person. I think part of the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought was her. For the whole first half/two-thirds of the book, I wanted her to take charge of her life. Yes, she was in awe of Maxim, her new husband, and of her estate, but she was so timid and afraid and just rather annoying. That being said, it is an intense book and Rebecca is an incredibly memorable character, especially for being someone we know only through others' memories and impressions. The descriptions are detailed and atmospheric. I can appreciate...
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