When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can Brunetti identify the man when he can’t show pictures of his face?
The autopsy shows a way forward: It turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside of his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals. At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti’s home, where conversation at family meals offer a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead.
As subtle and engrossing as ever, Leon’s Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.
©2012 Donna Leon (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd.
I have been fan of Leon for years and this book didn't disappoint! It is a solid Brunetti book. If you haven't read any of Leon's books I suggest you start with book one since it is a series where the characters (especially Signorina Elettra and Vianello) developing over time. If you have read Brunetti before and disliked his ending I will tell you that this one is more satisfying than usual.
...but still an enjoyable read/listen.
The story seemed a little thin to me, but I'd still recommend it to a friend.
The regular characters are great as usual, but my admiration of Brunetti was knocked down just a notch when he admired a pair of Tasseled Loafers in a shop window. Tasseled Loafers! Come on Guido, loafers are bad enough, but Tasseled Loafers - yuck!
The narration by David Colacci was stellar, as usual. He's one of the best narrators in the business.
This is one of Leon's better titles and they are all superb. Her nuanced plot lines and well researched understanding of current social problems all woven into an interest holding mystery make for wonderful reading. The stars of the show are always Commissario Brunnetti, and Venice itself. A wonderful pair which keep readers coming back.
Yes, it was interesting.
Guido Brunetti - I like the way the Commissario thinks. He's always outsmarting his boss and his family is his main priority.
David Colacci always gives a stellar performance even when the material is not.
I can't think of a particular moment.
I've enjoyed 3 books in this series but found this one incredibly slow paced. The crime was obvious early on but not to Brunetti, so it was necessary to suffer through his laborious detecting. Very disappointing.
Audio books changed my life and they become more important with each passing year for me. My favorite categories include history, biography, and both classic and modern police procedurals.
The Donna Leon is great, but David is even better, making the book come alive.
Yes, I love this series and the narrator is perfect. This story is the most recent I have read or listened to and the characters continue to evolve. I missed having more about the Brunetti family - those scenes are almost always my favorite in the books.
Not this time. It was apparent to me fairly early on what the motive for the crime was and the likely murderer. I still enjoyed watching the unraveling.
Favorite scene was the funeral very near the end. It brought a tear of compassion to my eye. It was a lovely and fitting tribute to the departed.
On the flip side, it was very difficult for me to get though the scene at the slaughter house. I am not sure why Brunetti felt they needed the complete tour - perhaps the author wanted to ensure she drove a few readers to become vegetarians.
If you have an idiot boss or work with well intentioned but incompetent colleagues, you will recognize the world of Guido Brunetti, even if you are not a commissario in the Venetian police. If you are as elegant, smart and clever as Signorina Elettra, well, I am simply envious beyond words!
This was my first listen to a Guido Brunetti mystery, and for the most part, I liked it. It had just enough humor and diversity of characters, although they weren't very deeply developed..
The story was so-so, and would have been rather dull, were it not a potentially very real insight into our food chain. Everything is a business, so that's how sick and unfit animals get into the slaughterhouses and eventually onto our tables. Brunetti's laid-back approach and search for the truth seems to be a personal, not departmental, procedure. With all the bad press of Italian courts lately, This provides an interesting perspective.
The book wasn't "pithy", and a bit of a disappointment, in hindsight. It was relatively short, and had relatively little action. The main character is entertaining, but I think I'll wait awhile before I spend a credit on trying another of these books.
Yes. I'd recommend it because I just love all the stories about Commissario Brunetti. The descriptions of Venice just make the storyline even better. Probably wouldn't be as interesting if it took place somewhere else in Italy. It wasn't my favorite book in this series but it is still very readable.
Commissario Brunetti, of course. He is always engaging, complicated, and cerebral. His affection for his wife and kids just make him a better detective although in this book he doesn't get to demonstrate his love for his family as much as he has in earlier books.
His performance was very good. He depicts the characters well.
No extreme reaction. I thought the book was a little slow but still engaging.
Donna Leon has a wonderful style and apparently an acute observer of people and things. David Colacci makes her book a real joy to "read."
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