Praise for Drawing Conclusions:
“Donna Leon’s 20th Venetian mystery featuring her compassionate police detective, Commissario Guido Brunetti, epitomizes what we treasure most about this series: a feeling for the life of a sublimely beautiful city and a sensitivity to the forces that are reshaping it. Not to mention the pleasure of being in Brunetti’s company when this shrewd but scrupulously honest man is having a crisis of ethics at the flower market or trying to pry information from a hostile nun. ”New York Times
“By now, with the arrival of Donna Leon’s 20th Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, the Venetian police commissioner seems almost as much an institution as the city’s venerable buildings. . . . In an age of diminished civic and religious authority, the commissarioas his investigation proceedsmust make Jesuitical decisions of his own about guilt and innocence, punishment and absolution. In this finely written account, he comes down (as we know he will) on the side of the angels.”Wall Street Journal
“There is always doubt mixed with anticipation before diving into the latest in a favorite mystery series. The uncertainty is always therewill it deliver the same fascination as previous books? Or will it disappoint? . . . The compelling characters and complex plot in Leon’s Drawing Conclusions place it among her best. The atmosphere of the city, along with Leon’s sharp insights and powerful narrative, validate her often-recognized status as a master of literary crime fiction.”Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Leon brings so much to her work in addition to her subtle and entertaining plots. With her elegance of prose, the sympathy she invests in her characters and the vibrant portrait she paints of Venice, she creates literary fiction at its best. But the main attraction, as always, is Brunetti himself, humane and intuitive, sensitive and determined, who revels in his family life and does his best to bring justice to a lovely but corrupt city.”Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Donna Leon does for Venice what Tony Hillerman did for Navajo country and Ed McBain did for New York City.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Leon’s twentieth novel starring Venetian police Commissario Guido Brunetti is one of her best. . . . When [Brunetti] muses, the reader listens almost hypnotically, transfixed by the somehow ennobling ordinariness of this remarkable man’s humanity but also by the subtlety of his mind and his absolute refusal to succumb to the tyranny of bureaucrats and moralists. . . . Leon’s popularity among mystery fans has grown steadily, but over the last several years, she has become a must-read for all those who favor character-driven crime stories.”Booklist (starred review)
“This fine novel is Leon’s 20th mystery featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, the unparalleled Venetian police investigator who enlivens this intelligent series. . . . As always, Brunetti’s investigative acumen, his patience, and most of all, his profound comprehension of the human psyche enable him to bring the case to a closure of sorts. Yet the powerful conclusions does not, in fact, directly divulge the solution, and it is this haunting ambiguity that renders Drawing Conclusions Leon’s most provocative novel to date. . . . VERDICT: Aficionados of literary mysteries such as those written by P.D. James and Michael Dibdin will revel in this stellar book. If you read only one mystery this year, make it this one.”Library Journal (starred review)
“Leon’s fine 20th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery explores violence against women and the treatment of the elderly. . . . Leon provides a vivid view of Venice, balancing the city’s ‘glory days’ with the reality of ‘the flaking dandruff of sun-blasted paint peeling from shutters.’ Compassionate yet incorruptible, Brunetti knows that true justice doesn’t always end in an arrest or a trial.”Publishers Weekly
“Hard to believebut let’s be gratefulthat Commissario Guido Brunetti is on his 20th case. Essential for mystery collections.”Library Journal
“As languid in its movement as a gondola ride. Yet none of Brunetti’s earlier cases is as remorselessly clear in connecting the delicately comic anti-authoritarian gestures Brunetti winks at to the miasma of corruption that hangs over his beloved Venice.”Kirkus Reviews
“From the very first page, you are drawn into the story with no desire to leave it until the final line.”I Love A Mystery
“Remarkably, for a long-running series, Leon’s characters are more interesting now than they were 18 years ago. Even more remarkably, Leon’s own skills, honed over so many books, have grown and matured, and that makes this most recent novel her best book so far.”Globe and Mail
“A great tale. . . . Readers will relish sailing the watery streets of Venice with the caring Commissario who understands justice and the law are not always in sync.”Midwest Book Review
This fine novel is Leon's (A Question of Belief) 20th mystery featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, the unparalleled Venetian police investigator who enlivens this intelligent series. This time, Brunetti takes on a particularly complicated case involving the suspicious death of an elderly woman, infinitely more suspicious wills and beneficiaries, and the theft of valuable drawings. All of this, of course, is related to relentless greed at the heart of so many crimes. Leon's artistry, however, guarantees that nothing is ever simple. As always, Brunetti's investigative acumen, his patience, and, most of all, his profound comprehension of the human psyche enable him to bring the case to a closure of sorts. Yet the powerful conclusion does not, in fact, directly divulge the solution, and it is this haunting ambiguity that renders Drawing Conclusions Leon's most provocative novel to date. Ultimately, Brunetti's exemplary wisdom, mercy, and kindness offer hope to us all. VERDICT Aficionados of literary mysteries such as those written by P.D. James and Michael Dibdin will revel in this stellar book. If you read only one mystery this year, make it this one. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]—Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA
Perhaps the quietest of all Commissario Guido Brunetti's cases concerns a murder that may not even be a murder.
"She was a good neighbor," translator Anna Maria Giusti says of Costanza Altavilla, the ex-schoolteacher who lived downstairs until her fatal heart attack. There's some indication that Signora Altavilla may have been manhandled shortly before her death—in fact, the rough treatment may even have led to her death—but Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta, with his usual genius for the wrong decision, wants Brunetti to sign off on the case out of deference to her son, Claudio Niccolini, the former veterinarian of Patta's own son. Naturally, Brunetti continues to make modest inquiries, and soon he's discovered two promising lines of inquiry. The retired widow sheltered abused women for an organization called Alba Libera, and Maria Sartori, one of the nursing-home patients she worked with, was once involved in a dodgy maneuver that left the entire estate of Marie Reynard, a wealthy patron of the arts, in the hands of the late Benevento Cucetti, the lawyer who drew up her will. Was Signora Altavilla menaced by the abusive boyfriend looking for her latest tenant, or was it someone out of Maria Sartori's past—if indeed she was menaced by anyone at all?
As languid in its movement as a gondola ride. Yet none of Brunetti's earlier cases (About Face, 2009, etc.) is as remorselessly clear in connecting the delicately comic anti-authoritarian gestures Brunetti winks at to the miasma of corruption that hangs over his beloved Venice.