The first Commissario Brunetti police procedural story was printed in 1992. Each year, Donna Leon has delivered the next installment in this modern day Venetian crime series.
The latest novel, Unto Us A son Is Given, is actually the 28th book in the series, and this time centers around Guido, his well-born wife, his two children and his father-in-law, the Count Falier. As a favor (of love) for the Count, Guido questions Gonzalo, the Count’s old friend, asking his reasons for adopting an adult son.
Refreshingly, the first murder is not committed until half way through the novel, but is then closely followed by a second. This novel brings together the often conflicted worlds of modern day Venice, inherited wealth and the nobility, high art and the confusing reasons why people make the wrong decisions.
This reviewer particularly enjoyed the verbal interactions between Brunetti and his wife and teenage children. Discussing this particular case at home, Paola and Chiara offer alternative viewpoints, providing Brunetti with other thoughts and possible insights into the reasons for murder. In a couple of spots, Brunetti gives thanks for his wonderful, loving family, and his life, a glorious backdrop to the very murky world of policing which is his career.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group