Beastly Things by Donna Leon

I've read several of the Brunetti mysteries, but not necessarily in order. Beastly Things was okay, not the best in the series and there were some things I missed. First and foremost I missed the food, the delicious meals Brunetti has, the desserts and drinks. They're here, but not as tempting as usual. Of course, that probably has to do with the social theme she's tackling in addition to the mystery. We have a look inside the food industry, at the slaughtering of animals and how the meat is deemed "safe for human consumption." I don't mind social issues in mysteries, but at times it can over-shadow the actual mystery plot. And the horrible scene at the slaughterhouse was not as disturbing as I thought it would be, in all honesty. But maybe I've heard too many horror stories before. I like the characters as always and Venice is as a wonderful setting. I will say the plot held few surprises. I guessed...
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The Lazarus Curse by Tessa Harris

I could break The Lazarus Curse down into three parts: the mystery- what happened to Matthew Bartlett, the botanist/artist who disappeared upon returning from Jamaica; the background research and storyline on the plight of slaves who were brought to England by their masters; and what's going on with Lydia, Thomas' lover. The mystery was okay. There's supposedly a Lazarus Potion that can bring people back from the dead, and the theory is that the expedition found the formula and someone killed Bartlett for the information. There were a couple of suspects but no good option. The wrap-up to this part surprised me in a good. It was interesting how it worked out, even if I don't entirely understand the reasoning. The part of the plot centering around the slaves was the most engrossing. There were Americans currently staying in London. In England at the time, slavery was not legal, but the American's slaves are still more or less considered property for all intents and purposes. Thomas sees the unfairness...
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