Synopses & Reviews
Donna Leons best-selling series featuring the principled, warmhearted Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti has won her countless fans, critical acclaim, and international renown as one of the worlds best crime writers. In A Question of Belief, Brunetti must contend with ingenious corruption, bureaucratic intransigence, and the stifling heat of a Venetian summer. With his hometown beset by hordes of tourists and baking under a glaring sun, Brunettis greatest wish is to go to the mountains with his family, where he can sleep under a down comforter and catch up on his reading. But before he can go on vacation, a folder with court records has landed on his desk, brought by an old friend. It appears that cases at the local courthardly known as a model of efficiencyare being delayed to the benefit of one of the parties. A creative new trick for corrupting the system, perhaps, but what can Brunetti do about it? And just when it looks like Brunetti will be able to get away, a shocking, violent crime forces him to stay in Venice. This is a stellar addition to Leons celebrated series: atmospheric, packed with excellent characters, and building to an explosive, indelible ending.
"Set during an oppressive Venetian August, Leon's masterful 19th Commisario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2009's About Face) presents Brunetti with two puzzles that impinge on his most intimate beliefs. Close associate Ispettore Vianello, who's worried about his elderly aunt's involvement with an astrologer, nudges Brunetti toward ruminations on the differences in male and female evidences of affection. Meanwhile, Toni Brusca, head of employment records at the Commune, who's perplexed by a female judge's erratic court case postponements, surprises Brunetti by implying that a woman could be more criminal than a man. Brunetti patiently untangles a sordid skein of desires warped, trusts abused, and loves distorted into depravity. As one good man who still believes in the rule of law despite his disgust at Italy's mounting corruption, Brunetti allows readers to share his belief that decency and honesty can, for a little while, stave off the angst of the modern world." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The much-admired atmosphere of Donna Leons mysteries derives from more than their pungent descriptions of Venetian life. Not that we dont appreciate the scenic walks and vaporetto rides. . . . The special atmosphere that permeates Leons novels and especially her latest, A Question of Belief
has more to do with the sense it conveys of a Venice teetering on the edge of oblivion and living on the faith that it wont fall in. Brunetti thus has a dual function: to chronicle the citys decline as it collapses under the forces of progress and its own internal corruption, and to save it from itself, one crime at a time.”Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Brunetti is a marvel: smart, cultured, and dedicated to his work.” The Washington Post
Fast-paced, with a strong cast and a powerful look at Venice and its local government.”Harriet Klausner, The Mystery Gazette
Wonderful.” Nina Sankovitch, The Huffington Post
Its hot as Hades in Venice, and Commissario Guido Brunetti is feeling the heat in this 19th installment in the best-selling series. Not only is the temperature soaring, but Brunetti is working on several hot, puzzling cases. As always, he is a superb police detectivecalm, deliberate, and insightful as he investigates with a reflective thoroughness.
Unfortunately, just when Brunetti thinks he can finally escape on vacation to cooler climes, he is recalled to Venice because of a brutal murder. In the end, he solves one case, but the solution to the other remains hellishly ambiguous. Leons daring, provocative conclusion leads us to reflect upon the pernicious consequences of the usual culprits: sex, love, ambition, and greed. An excellent read, especially for those who enjoy intelligent, urbane, literary mysteries set in Europe.” Lynne F. Maxwell, Library Journal
If you are not reading Donna Leons novels with Venice Police Commissario Guido Brunetti, then you are missing out.
You wont find an abundance of violence here. Instead, you can expect clever plotting, solid characterization and fine storytelling. If you are wondering why Time named Leon one of the top 50 mystery writers, then A Question of Belief will answer that question conclusively.” Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter.com
Beautifully written, atmospheric and redolent of an Italian summer at its murderous best.” Bruce Tierney, Book Page
With her trademark flair and grace, Leon imbues A Question of Belief with a conclusion at once stunning and ambivalent and an atmospheric evocation of Venice, either of which would be reason for celebration. But she is not content to confine her gifts, and the third leg of her genius, rich characterization, is again on display as the readers appreciation of Brunetti continues to grow.
Literate and lovely, A Question of Belief reaffirms Leons place in the firmament of the genre.” Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch
There are a bare handful of mystery authors who can maintain quality over 19 books. There are even fewer who can claim the latest works are some of their best. A Question of Belief puts Donna Leon in that category. It is a stunning novel, the best of this brilliant series, with a twist at the end that will leave even the most sophisticated reader gasping. . . . Fans shouldnt miss this, and if youre not already a devotee, start here and work your way backward.”Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Leon's books are a joy, and the 19th Venice-based Commissario Brunetti novel is well up to her consistently high standard.” Laura Wilson, The Guardian (UK)
Leon vividly churns the social and political stew of her adopted city through Brunetti's eternally dismayed but unvanquished eyes. Despite a wry, laconic delivery, her soft, lingering touch reveals a keen compassion as Brunetti's cynical fatalism vies with a stubborn faith.”John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press
- Donna Leon was named one of Time magazine's 50 Greatest Crime Writers
- About Face was a New York Times (extended), San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Washington Post Book World, National Indie, New England Independent Booksellers Association, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Independent Mystery Booksellers Association best seller
Leon's bestselling series featuring the principled, warmhearted Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti has won her international renown as one of the world's best crime writers. In "A Question of Belief," Brunetti must contend with ingenious corruption, bureaucratic intransigence, and the stifling heat of a Venetian summer.