Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Brunetti Mystery

Through A Glass, Darkly

Author: Donna Leon
Publisher/Format: Audio Partners Publishing Corp -audio; 272 pg equivalent
Characters: Guido Brunetti, Inspector Vianello, Signorina Elletra
Subject: ecological ethics, murder
Setting: Venice
Series: Commissario Brunetti mysteries
Genre: police procedural detective mystery
Source: public library

A truly different story for Guido Brunetti.  This one is almost more concerned with illegal dumping of dangerous chemicals by the glass making factories in Murano than with solving the murder of the night watchman at the factory.  Brunetti, the urbane sophisticate with a professed (and almost disdainful) ignorance of any and all scientific or modern technological information, must get up to speed on glass-making and hazardous waste disposal. While giving the reader short courses on these subjects, Leon also has Brunetti exploring Dante's Inferno for clues. The juxtaposition of the old with the new, in a centuries old setting, makes for a very different story than previous ones in the series.  Brunetti has always had more of a social conscience than others of his profession, though he seems to take his time acknowledging that. Less food, less banter with Paola, but definitely another well-done episode in a series that continues to delight me.

I'm gradually working my way through this delightful series--this is #15 of 19, so you'll be seeing a few more during the new year.  I somehow got out of order and need to read 10,11,12 and 19, but that is one of the delights of this series in that the individual books can be read in any order without the reader feeling disoriented.


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