By Donna Leon
April 9, 2019
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agress to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man can’t be allowed his pleasure in peace.
Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service.
But when Berta, a striking woman and Gonzalo’s best friend, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzabo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?
Once again, Donna Leon, brilliantly plumbs the twists and turns of the human condition, reuniting us with some of crime fiction’s most memorable characters.