This, the first book in a series about a Venetian detective, is a delightful bonbon. I don't think I'll be able to stop at one.
Streptomycin, among related antibiotics, is known to cause hearing loss, as a side effect.
A satisfying whodunnit, the novel exudes a wonderful sense of place, taking readers into the streets of Venice and providing a glimpse inside the opera scene, with all its scandals. I look forward to reading more of Commissario Brunetti!
I was actually able to predict the outcome of this story well before the end. However, the sordid reason behind the tale was a surprise. This series was recommended to me and has quite the following. Although I liked the story, I found it a little light and not terribly engrossing. However, I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the series, which I understand improves as it goes on.
I've read several from the middle of this wonderful series, and decided to go back to the beginning, which is this one. Interestingly, Leon has already developed a back story for Brunetti, his family, in-laws, co-workers and dreadful boss, right at the beginning. Brunetti's character is there, too, especially his cynicism about the endemic corruption in his beloved city. So too is his love for the opera of La Fenice, an institution for the locals, not the tourists. When the opera house burns down at intermission during a performance by the best conductor in the world, there are too many suspects. Sorting out too many suspects will turn out to be Brunetti's forte in many a book to come. I can't tell how I'd judge it if I hadn't read any of the others, but I already love the series. Leon will get better with Brunetti, so I give this one only 4 stars.
Not a great book, but it is the first in a large series so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and read a few more. I really liked the italian/venetian references, since I'm familiar with both the language and the place.
This first novel in the Guido Brunetti series shows that Donna Leon had a good grasp of her characters and setting right from the beginning.
As always the casual acceptance of endemic corruption serves as a background to the frustrations of the hero of the story. Another crime to solve for the charming Brunetti with all the fascinating political, geographical, family and cultural insights into modern day Italian life (and more specifically Venetian life) that Donna Leon weaves into her narratives
If you read only one Guido Brunetti mystery, this should be the one. Donna Leon's best.
I love this series -- this is the first of them, which I hadn't read before. I think her touch got much beter in the later books.
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