The Girl of His Dreams (Guido Brunetti Series #17)

The Girl of His Dreams (Guido Brunetti Series #17)

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by Donna Leon
     
 

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Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries have won legions of fans for their evocative portraits of Venetian life. In her novels, food, family, art, history, and local politics play as central a role as an unsolved crime. In The Girl of His Dreams when a friend of Brunetti’s brother, a priest recently returned from years of

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Overview

Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries have won legions of fans for their evocative portraits of Venetian life. In her novels, food, family, art, history, and local politics play as central a role as an unsolved crime. In The Girl of His Dreams when a friend of Brunetti’s brother, a priest recently returned from years of missionary work, calls with a request, Brunetti suspects the man’s motives. A new, American-style Protestant sect has begun to meet in the city, and it’s possible the priest is merely apprehensive of the competition. But the preacher could also be fleecing his growing flock, so Brunetti and Paola, along with Inspector Vianello and his wife, go undercover.

But the investigation has to be put aside when, one cold and rainy morning, a body is found floating in a canal. It is a child, a gypsy girl. Brunetti suspects she fell off a nearby roof while fleeing an apartment she had robbed. He has to inform the distrustful parents, encamped on the mainland, and soon finds himself haunted by the crime--and the girl. Thought-provoking, eye-opening, and profoundly moving, The Girl of His Dreams is classic Donna Leon, a spectacular, heart-wrenching addition to the series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" Gorgeously written . . . the seventeenth book in this superlative series restates Leon's themes with more intensity than usual."
-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Dennis Drabelle
Free of coincidence or obvious contrivance, The Girl of His Dreams is a showcase of nuanced characterization, acute observation and seamless plotting.
—The Washington Post
Marilyn Stasio
Official justice being arbitrary in Donna Leon's gorgeously written but deeply melancholic Venetian police procedurals, the task of her detective, Commissario Guido Brunetti, isn't so much to solve a crime as to find a way of bearing the pain and horror of it. The Girl of His Dreams, the 17th book in this superlative series, restates Leon's theme with more intensity than usual
—The New York Times
Library Journal

Political reality prevails over justice, and a child's death goes unpunished despite the best efforts of Commissario Guido Brunetti in Leon's 17th Venetian mystery. When 11-year-old Ariana Rocich drowns in a canal and goes unidentified for days, she begins to haunt Brunetti's dreams. But Ariana is a Rom, or gypsy, found with stolen jewelry items secreted in and on her person, a discovery that makes Brunetti's investigation particularly sensitive in the face of new departmental directives regarding multicultural issues. The book opens with the funeral of Brunetti's mother before segueing into a subplot about a religious charlatan; so religion, as well as politics, becomes a topic around the family table for Brunetti, wife Paola, daughter Chiara, and son Raffi. A devoted family man, Brunetti is deeply principled if not overtly religious: his character and moral compass in the face of bureaucracy evoke as much interest as the crimes he sets out to solve. American-born Leon describes her longtime home of Venice lovingly, and the ethical grounding she gives this novel lifts it above the norm. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ1/08.]


—Michele Leber
Kirkus Reviews
Commissario Guido Brunetti, of the Venetian Questura, pursues a pair of very different cases to equally inconclusive ends. At the gravesite following the funeral of his mother, Guido Brunetti meets Padre Antonin Scallon, a schoolfriend of Brunetti's brother who has been doing missionary work in Africa. Brunetti has never liked Scallon, so he's surprised when the priest asks his help in getting information about Brother Leonardo Mutti, leader of the Children of Jesus Christ. Agreeing to investigate Mutti, Brunetti (Suffer the Little Children, 2007, etc.) ends up spending considerably more time investigating Scallon himself before he's abruptly pulled away from his inquiries by an ugly discovery. A Romany girl is found drowned in the Grand Canal with two pieces of readily identifiable jewelry that didn't belong to her. Because of a lack of cooperation, the mystery of the girl's death looks even more impenetrable than Brunetti's investigation of the two rival preachers. The investigations are linked only by the establishment's hatred and fear of interlopers who threaten its control. By no means a model of plot construction, but as heartfelt and moving as Brunetti's best.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143115618
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/07/2009
Series:
Guido Brunetti Series, #17
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
173,885
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
" Gorgeously written . . . the seventeenth book in this superlative series restates Leon's themes with more intensity than usual."
-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

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