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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The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

I have not read anything by Joseph Conrad before. Obviously, I've heard of him, but neither Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim ever made it to my TBR list. Honestly, I was looking for a classic audiobook available to "read now" from my library and came across The Secret Agent— the title grabbed my attention and the blurb made me borrow it. Verloc is our secret agent in London who works for Russia? Germany?—it's not really clear. Mostly he collects a check to pass on whatever rumors come his way and hangs out with anarchists. He also keeps on the cops' good side by sharing info with them. His wife Winnie marries for security for herself and her brother, but has no idea about the true nature of his work. Then, the rather nasty Mr. Vladimir, from "the embassy" tells Verloc that he needs to do more than observe to keep getting his check. He needs to do something, specifically blow up...
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