63. DEATH AT LA FENICE, BY DONNA LEON (Book 1 of Commissario Brunetti)
Recommended by the delightful nous-contre-eux (Mimi). And it was a delightful read.
Synopsis: A world-famous conductor is found dead in his dressing-room in the middle of a performance in the biggest opera house in Venice. Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario, has to delve deep into the maestro’s past for the investigation.
Overall enjoyment: It was a very pleasant book to read. Not really a thriller, but a very good mystery. The pacing was slower and more relaxed than you usually find in the genre, and it plays right into the general atmosphere of the story.
Plot: Like I said, slow-paced, but not bad. There is some suspense but it’s not really the big focus. The mystery in itself, the whodunnit, is a bit naïve, but not the events leading to it.
Characters: Very satisfying. Atypically, Brunetti has a healthy relationship with his wife and a happy family life; that in itself is already a breath of fresh air.
World/setting: She describes Venice very vividly; it’s worth reading the book just for that. The little details on procedure and politics during the investigation add a special flavor to it.
Writing style: Clean and straightforward.
Representation: Not very good when it comes to POC (although there are some cameos), but there is a lesbian couple that is central to the story.
Political correctness: No major complaints here. The female characters are very interesting and play a big part on the story. If I had to criticize something, I’d say that it’s a bit too indulgent of the famously fragile male ego, but that’s probably nitpicking.
Up next: Down the Darkest Road, by Tami Hoag