Friday, November 25, 2016

"Death at La Fenice," by Donna Leon

On 11/12/16 I wrote of returning to mysteries for the first time in a long time, because of my friend K.S.’s recommendation of Louise Penny’s Armande Gamache novels. After reading and enjoying three of the novels in the series (and I am sure I will read more), I took my friend M.V.’s recommendation, which actually reinforced that of others through the years, to try Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries, set in Venice. M.’s recommendation reminded me of how my beloved late sister-in-law, who was Austrian, loved Donna Leon’s mysteries and even read them (in German) in the hospital when she was very sick. And I finally visited Venice in January of this year. So maybe the confluence of all these signs was telling me it was time to investigate these well-loved mysteries. I have now read the first in the series, “Death at La Fenice,” (Perennial, 1992), and did in fact enjoy it very much. The Venice setting, the musical world where the murder took place, and the intriguing characters, all drew me in. Of course the mystery itself, with its twists and turns, its clues and its red herrings, all contributed to my enjoyment as well. As to why I am suddenly open to and enjoying reading mysteries again after a long period away from them, I don’t really know the answer. I think it is just cyclical. But I am happy to have discovered these two “new” (to me) mystery writers (Louise Penny and Donna Leon) and their thoughtful and multifaceted detectives (Gamache and Brunetti), and look forward to reading more novels in each series.
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