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Always a good read with Donna Leon. Commissario takes a work break art a quiet villa location, meets the pleasant caretaker who is later on found drowned.
Donna Leon takes Commissario Guido Brunetti out of Venice for this book and it's a definite hit indeed.
"Earthly Remains" is about relationships with a mystery wrapped around it. Unlike other authors, Donna Leon focuses more on commentary about Italian culture, Venice, Italian family values, food and beauty than on solving the puzzle. I would rate "Earthly Remains" at 3.50 stars.
Earthly remains was my favorite Donna Leon mystery to date. It was infinitely clever, takes place outside of Venice at least to start, and of course well written. I couldn't put it down!
This is the second Brunetti mystery I've read, and while they are separated by two decades, the theme is the same: it doesn't matter if Brunetti discovers the dirty truth at the rotten core of Venetian society, he can't use it to further justice when old money and political power are standing in his way. While it's dark and on some levels unsatisfying, it's more true to life and explains how Leon can maintain a hero for as long as she has. But here's hoping Brunetti decides he's had enough before Leon does and blows up the center of Venice on his way out.
This is an unusual Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. Brunetti fakes a heart attack to prevent Pucetti attacking a man during an interrogation. The result of this rash act is a medical leave of absence. Brunetti stays in the Sant'Erasmo villa of a wealthy relative of his wife, Paola. This (real) island is located in the Venetian Lagoon. Brunetti meets an old rowing friend of his father, Davide Casati, and spends much time exploring the laguna with this troubled man. When Casati goes missing, Brunetti investigates.
Although this story was slow, it was rich in detail. I enjoyed the relationships, the atmosphere, and the underlying message. Great read!
I enjoyed this book very much. Most of the first half of the book is spent rowing on the laguna in hot July weather (great for summer reading, or winter reading when one wishes to be reminded of summer). The death was not unexpected, the search for the truth was interesting, and the final "reveal" made for as good an ending as one could hope for in the mystery book.
There is no question that Donna Leon is one of the better crime writers going but this latest offering is not up to her standards. It is interesting enough but there is a feel that it has been "churned" out. Lots of loose ends and unfinished trails. To me, it is a book written to generate income with not her usual concise analysis and gradations. I truly hope her next offering will be up to her usual standards.
I think Cammilleri or Dibden would be a better offer for people exploring Italian policing, although Leons' references to Venice are always a treat.
Brunetti hasn't realized how burned out he and his coworker are until he over-reacts to protect his subordinate from the power of a suspect being interviewed in the drugging death of a young girl. Brunetti ends up in the ER, where the doctor realizes he's not ill, but that his blood pressure's dangerously high from stress. She recommends a few weeks away on his own. Paola suggests he stay at an island villa of her aunt. He discovers much in common with the caretaker, Casati, who had been his late father's only friend. Every day, the two men go rowing. Then one morning, after a terrible storm, Casati's missing. Brunetti joins the search, and is the one to find him, drowned, under his capsized boat. He automatically takes pictures before police pull the body out of the water. Brunetti and his colleague Claudia interview two old work colleagues of Casati's, all 3 of whom were injured in a work accident decades before, to find out more about Casati and what happened in that accident. They don't get very far in solving the mystery, until Casati's son-in-law looks at the photos Brunetti took. A very frightening story with a surprisingly satisfying ending.
Leon's books usually have a social theme and this one is no different--illegal toxic waste dumping. Brunetti's blood pressure is high, so he's on medical leave and goes to a small island near Venice to relax and recuperate. The grounds keeper was a friend of his father's but mysteriously disappears after a couple of weeks.
Slow with a plot that was tenuous at best. I skimmed which is not always a good sign.
The setting was interesting in its watery geography and the characters were in their right roles.
It just lacked oomph!
In the first 5 chapters, Brunetti turns into Inspector Clouseau - very odd start. The rest moves along at a relatively slow pace; I was waiting for something to happen. Mainly an essay on ecology in the region.
A most enjoyable read. I was in the right frame of mind to read about Brunetti's rowing holiday on the laguna. It was a most enjoyable time for Brunetti and his rowing buddy, and for me, too, to be out in the water, listening to the sound of the oars in the water with the sun beating down and, on occasion, hearing the sound of water fowl. Unfortunately, Brunetti returns to his detective work when his new found friend is found drowned, and that's where the mystery begins. Leon is a masterful writer knowing when to give details that are enjoyable to read, but, with other authors, would be considered "fill" that can be skipped over. The back of the covers include a map of Venice and the surrounding islands separated by the laguna where Brunetti had such an enjoyable time rowing in the small boat. Readers can use this map to follow along in the places mentioned in this novel, making the story seem real. The book is just over 300 pages - so a quick read. Enjoyable any time - on holiday or at home.
A new Donna Leon book! Hooray! I am always so happy to get my hands on these! Another great installment - clever storyline, beautiful scenery and frightening all rolled into one. The death of bees always makes me sad, hence the frightening part of my description. Enjoy!
Commissario Brunetti takes leave after a stressful incident and finds rest and repose in Paola’s aunt’s villa on Sant'Erasmo, an island in the Laguna. Here he spends time with the caretaker Davide who has ties to Brunetti’s father and shares a love of rowing. When Davide turns up missing after a storm, Brunetti looks for him and seeks answers to this book’s mysteries.
'Earthly Remains' is a very introspective book, dealing as it does with the long-term health of the Laguna and its islands long polluted by the chemical industries found there. Davide is a beekeeper and his bees are dying. As he looks for answers, he must confront his past. A dark and cautionary tale in Leon’s 26th outing. I’ll always be looking for what’s next from this wonderful writer.