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Drawing Conclusions (Guido Brunetti Series #20)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

If You Miss Donna Leon's Earlier Mysteries, This One's For You

After the disappointing A Question of Belief and About Face, I had resolved to quit reading Donna Leon's new books and go back to her excellent first mysteries. The way she combined social issues with fast-paced detective work in the early books was irresistible. My fav...
After the disappointing A Question of Belief and About Face, I had resolved to quit reading Donna Leon's new books and go back to her excellent first mysteries. The way she combined social issues with fast-paced detective work in the early books was irresistible. My favorite was her first -- Death at La Fenice.

Then her books started to emphasize the social issues more than the mysteries until in the last few books the murders seemed to take a back seat. I stopped reading about halfway through A Question of Belief when there had been no apparent crime yet.

In Drawing Conclusions, there is a dead body very quickly and when Brunetti takes the call, he suspects that it may not have been an accidental death. There are clues and suspicious characters in abundance and the story moves briskly in police procedural fashion. Along with Brunetti, we consider the evidence, imagine possible scenarios, weigh motives and opportunities.

And don't worry, Leon hasn't lost her social conscience - elder care and domestic violence play prominent roles in the story.

With help from Signorina Ellettra and despite the usual obstructions from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, Brunetti comes to a conclusion that is somewhat unorthodox by traditional mystery standards, but completely satisfying. Welcome back, Donna Leon!

posted by takingadayoff on March 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Okay

I loved the first several Brunetti books . But then they changed more to social issues books this one is not like that anymore. But it is somber and somewhat deorrssing. I miss the good old Brunetti books . They gave a glimpse into Italian and tge Brunetti's lifestyle....
I loved the first several Brunetti books . But then they changed more to social issues books this one is not like that anymore. But it is somber and somewhat deorrssing. I miss the good old Brunetti books . They gave a glimpse into Italian and tge Brunetti's lifestyle. They were fun to read. This one isn't.

posted by 3348301 on May 1, 2011

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating Tale

    Book 20, in the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

    As usual Ms. Leon's social concerns always play a prominent component of her mysteries; in her latest tale she looks into how a civilized society treats abused women and the elderly. The catchy setting is the romantic waterways of Venice with the loveable and caring Commissario Brunetti at the helm.

    The story opens with the death of sexagenarian, Widow Costanza Altavilla, from what appears to be a fatal heart attack in her apartment in Santa Croce. The medical examiner concludes, no foul play, death by natural causes. Brunetti's experience and instincts lead him in a completely different direction, why would an elderly woman living alone have clothing of different sizes and style not fitting her stature? Digging deeper he uncovers the fact she was running a clandestine safe house for women seeking shelter from domestic abuse, perhaps her death is the result of an encounter with a violent partner of one of these women. Eventually the enquiry brings him to a senior citizens home and to a gallery of a questionable art dealer..and with the help of Inspector Lorenzo Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra Zorzi, the truth surfaces and justice prevails.

    As we expect from Ms. Leon, the novel is beautifully written, narrated with elegance and sly humour. Set against a backdrop of police indifference and corruption we see another side of Brunetti, distressed and having contradictory feeling towards the casual attitude of his fellow Venetians. The story is well-paced and moves very quickly with some unexpected twists to keep us guessing till the end, a never ending game of speculation trying to guess what really happened to Signora Altavilla. As always, the domestic interludes play a vital part of Donna Leon's novels, this one is no exception. She has seasoned her story with moments that reflect her protagonist's compassion, principles and the love for the simple pleasures of life.

    "Drawing Conclusions" is an interesting and captivating addition to the series I enjoyed thoroughly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2012

    Thank you Donna Leon!

    So good to have Guido back and be guided though the most beautiful city Venenzia.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Venetians

    Another interesting tale of life and crime in Venice, as seen through the eyes of the wily Commissario Brunetti. What he sees of life at work contrasts with his happy home life, and but for that he might have become as cynical and corrupt as those around him. Luckily for us he remains on the straight and narrow, although occasionally turning a blind eye to the devices used by those who work with him. All in all a series that makes the reader want more. In Drawing Conclusions that can be taken quite literally as the story wraps up just a little too nicely.

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