I would love to visit Italy one day, and especially Venice. Leon’s books, along with others, have made me fall in love with the city.

Campanile of San Giorgio Dei Greci
Campanile of San Giorgio Dei Greci

A Noble Radiance features Commissario Guido Brunetti,Ā  a good honest man searching for the truth while working in a police force and political system that are often corrupt or uninterested. In this installation, a body found in a field turns out to be the kidnapped son of one of Venice’s aristocratic families. Brunetti can’t accept any too easy answers and keeps digging, unearthing deadly secrets about the family and it’s business.

Setting and character are Leon’s strong points for me. Brunetti keeps me coming back to this series. He’sĀ  intelligent, determined, and has a wonderful, strong, loving relationship with his wife and children, who are actually in the books, not just shadows rarely mentioned. And Signorina Elettra, the secretary of the Vice-Questore, is a treat, a woman I would love to know in real life.

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

This is not a fast-moving, action-packed mystery. It deals with personal relationships, with greed, with concepts like truth and justice.And we see all the clues at the same time as Brunetti, we see him working through the case, so when the end comes it isn’t a grand revelation, but is still satisfying.

I listened to this one narrated by Anna Fields, as I have with others in the series. I like hearing the Italian phrases, rather than seeing them in black and white and guessing the pronunciations. This is not a series I’ve read in order, but each stands on its own. Yes, the characters grow and change, but I never feel like I’m missing something by not having read the previous one.

4 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Noble Radiance from Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

Photos from Travel Photos: Venice Italy

Category: Mystery & Detective

Commissario Brunetti #7
First published 1997
6 hours, 55 minutes

Book source: Library


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