Donna Leon writes great mysteries, but in this book, she barely had a conflict to investigate, much less one that was engaging. So much time spent in meaningless descriptions of how someone cut the zucchini, stirred the sugar in her coffee, lifted the page evenly and carefully with two hands. I felt like I was reading the assignments from a Write Your First Novel class. And the narrator's beautiful Italianate English began to grate after a while, as if, since there was nothing to say, it was best to stretch out the words as long as possible, and repeat people's names over and over.
Of course I still look forward to the next Brunetti novel, but I hope Ms. Leon sticks with those in the future.
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