A Question of Belief (Guido Brunetti Series #19)

A Question of Belief (Guido Brunetti Series #19)

3.6 34
by Donna Leon
     
 

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"Brunetti is a marvel: smart, cultured, and dedicated to his work." —The Washington Post

Commissario Guido Brunetti longs to escape the crowds of tourists and oppressive heat of Venice in August. But before he can join his family on holiday in the mountains, a folder containing court records lands on his desk. An old friend suspects a sinister

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Overview

"Brunetti is a marvel: smart, cultured, and dedicated to his work." —The Washington Post

Commissario Guido Brunetti longs to escape the crowds of tourists and oppressive heat of Venice in August. But before he can join his family on holiday in the mountains, a folder containing court records lands on his desk. An old friend suspects a sinister motive behind a local court's notorious inefficiency. Meanwhile, Brunetti's colleague, Inspector Lorenzo Vianello, is concerned about his aunt's sudden- and expensive-interest in astrology and enlists the commissario's help. Just when it seems Brunetti will be able to make his getaway, a brutal crime shocks the city and he forces himself to shake off the heat and get down to work.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…the special atmosphere that permeates Leon's novels—and especially her latest, A Question of Belief—has more to do with the sense it conveys of a Venice teetering on the edge of oblivion and living on the faith that it won't fall in…While Brunetti is allowed to express his anger and disgust with a society that nurtures and protects its own worst villains, Leon is generous enough not to let this honest man succumb to despair.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Set during an oppressive Venetian August, Leon's masterful 19th Commisario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2009's About Face) presents Brunetti with two puzzles that impinge on his most intimate beliefs. Close associate Ispettore Vianello, who's worried about his elderly aunt's involvement with an astrologer, nudges Brunetti toward ruminations on the differences in male and female evidences of affection. Meanwhile, Toni Brusca, head of employment records at the Commune, who's perplexed by a female judge's erratic court case postponements, surprises Brunetti by implying that a woman could be more criminal than a man. Brunetti patiently untangles a sordid skein of desires warped, trusts abused, and loves distorted into depravity. As one good man who still believes in the rule of law despite his disgust at Italy's mounting corruption, Brunetti allows readers to share his belief that decency and honesty can, for a little while, stave off the angst of the modern world. (May)
From the Publisher

“The much-admired atmosphere of Donna Leon’s mysteries derives from more than their pungent descriptions of Venetian life. Not that we don’t appreciate the scenic walks and vaporetto rides. . . . The special atmosphere that permeates Leon’s novels – and especially her latest, A Question of Belief – has more to do with the sense it conveys of a Venice teetering on the edge of oblivion and living on the faith that it won’t fall in. Brunetti thus has a dual function: to chronicle the city’s decline as it collapses under the forces of progress and its own internal corruption, and to save it from itself, one crime at a time.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

Brunetti is a marvel: smart, cultured, and dedicated to his work.” —The Washington Post

“Fast-paced, with a strong cast and a powerful look at Venice and its local government.”—Harriet Klausner, The Mystery Gazette

Wonderful.” —Nina Sankovitch, The Huffington Post

“It’s hot as Hades in Venice, and Commissario Guido Brunetti is feeling the heat in this 19th installment in the best-selling series. Not only is the temperature soaring, but Brunetti is working on several hot, puzzling cases. As always, he is a superb police detective—calm, deliberate, and insightful as he investigates with a reflective thoroughness. … Unfortunately, just when Brunetti thinks he can finally escape on vacation to cooler climes, he is recalled to Venice because of a brutal murder. In the end, he solves one case, but the solution to the other remains hellishly ambiguous. Leon’s daring, provocative conclusion leads us to reflect upon the pernicious consequences of the usual culprits: sex, love, ambition, and greed. An excellent read, especially for those who enjoy intelligent, urbane, literary mysteries set in Europe.” —Lynne F. Maxwell, Library Journal

If you are not reading Donna Leon’s novels with Venice Police Commissario Guido Brunetti, then you are missing out. … You won’t find an abundance of violence here. Instead, you can expect clever plotting, solid characterization and fine storytelling. If you are wondering why Time named Leon one of the top 50 mystery writers, then A Question of Belief will answer that question conclusively.” —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com

Beautifully written, atmospheric and redolent of an Italian summer at its murderous best.” —Bruce Tierney, Book Page

“With her trademark flair and grace, Leon imbues A Question of Belief with a conclusion at once stunning and ambivalent and an atmospheric evocation of Venice, either of which would be reason for celebration. But she is not content to confine her gifts, and the third leg of her genius, rich characterization, is again on display as the reader’s appreciation of Brunetti continues to grow. … Literate and lovely, A Question of Belief reaffirms Leon’s place in the firmament of the genre.” —Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“There are a bare handful of mystery authors who can maintain quality over 19 books. There are even fewer who can claim the latest works are some of their best. A Question of Belief puts Donna Leon in that category. It is a stunning novel, the best of this brilliant series, with a twist at the end that will leave even the most sophisticated reader gasping. . . . Fans shouldn’t miss this, and if you’re not already a devotee, start here and work your way backward.”—Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“Leon's books are a joy, and the 19th Venice-based Commissario Brunetti novel is well up to her consistently high standard.” —Laura Wilson, The Guardian (UK)

“Leon vividly churns the social and political stew of her adopted city through Brunetti's eternally dismayed but unvanquished eyes. Despite a wry, laconic delivery, her soft, lingering touch reveals a keen compassion as Brunetti's cynical fatalism vies with a stubborn faith.”—John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143118954
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/05/2011
Series:
Guido Brunetti Series, #19
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
525,777
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Donna Leon is the author of nineteen novels featuring Guido Brunetti. She has been awarded the Crime Writers Association Silver Dagger Award and the German Corine Prize. She lives in Venice, Italy.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Venice, Italy
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1942
Place of Birth:
Montclair, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

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