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.
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.
...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.
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."
Already have and will again. Started out slow for me and a little too cerebral and wordy but the second time through I was hooked again.
I loved the funeral at the end. It pulled the whole book together. On a lighter note, I liked that Brunetti got his own computer.
The funeral at the end.
Yes, but I break it up to sustain the pleasure
Hope she keeps writingf and that she keeps the same narrator. There are series I don't do audio any more because they changed the narrator.
Well read, marvelous plot and most enjoyable
FIRST RATE, HAS THE INSPECTOR PERFECTLY READ
FORGET MOVIES, THE WRITTEN & SPOKEN WORD IS WHAT COUNTS
As usual, Leon addresses a political issue. This time it's the inhumane killing of animals for food. Very powerful.
The journey into the abbatoir--like Dante's Hell.
I almost wept at the ending. Touching and powerful.
Donna Leon's best yet. Exciting storyline, Brunetti is growing older gracefully, and the book has lots of political punch. Don't miss it!
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