Give Unto Others by Donna Leon 2022
Donna Leon is 79 years old and can still turn out an annual Guido Brunetti crime novel with this latest installment being #31. Born in New Jersey, she was originally a teacher before turning to write about Venice and her Commissario. Now living in Switzerland, she is still active and sharp based on this latest book.
Venice remains the beautiful, old, decaying city of canals and palazzi, and Brunetti remains a cynical, ethical, and devoted Commissario at the Questura. His crew of inspectors Griffoni and Vienello and his secret weapon, the brilliant and techno-sophisticated Signorina Elettra Zorzi are on the case, a weird case that is being handled ‘off the books’ because Guido is doing a favor for an old acquaintance, Elisabetta Foscarini. Intrigue leads to intrigue as the case becomes more complex and finally turns into a major problem for Brunetti and his team. The evil lieutenant Scarpa lurks in the shadows and is certain to return in a future novel to use this case to attack Brunetti.
I’ve read all or nearly all of Leon’s work and have enjoyed each one. The city of Venice, Brunetti’s family, the Questura cast of inspectors all combine to provide light entertainment and a couple of days of enjoyable reading. It’s also fun to follow the action as it winds its way through the canals, campos, and calles of this beautiful architectural treasure of a city. Great beach reading, for sure. If you’ve never read Leon, try one. No need to start at the beginning since they all stand on their own though the relationships and the characters do become more interesting over time.
Already looking forward to the next one!