Acqua Alta: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

Acqua Alta: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

Donna Leon

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0802120288

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In Leon's fifth Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery, the beating of renowned art historian Dotoressa Brett Lynch draws the contemporary Venetian police detective out of his warm and loving home and into the yearly onslaught of acqua alta, the torrential winter rains.

Brett, an American who spearheaded a recent exhibition of Chinese pottery in Venice, lives with her lover, Flavia Petrelli, the reigning diva of La Scala. With his open mind and good sense, Brunetti finds himself more fazed by Flavia's breathtaking talent than by the nontraditional relationship between the two women. Brunetti's deliberate and humane investigation to uncover a motive for Brett's beating takes him to dark, wet corners of Venice and into a sinister web of art theft, fakery and base human desires.

“Every fan’s first-pick Brunetti novel.” —The New Yorker

“Music and art mingle delightfully with murder and mayhem in the course of this very engaging story.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A subtle study of emotion and character… A sophisticated mystery.” —Library Journal

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sorrows are mine and I have no joy unless she shares it. Mozart, Don Giovanni * * * * Chapter One Domestic tranquillity prevailed. Flavia Petrelli, the reigning diva of La Scala, stood in the warm kitchen and chopped onions. In separate heaps in front of her lay a pile of plum tomatoes, two cloves of garlic chopped into fine slices, and two plump-bottomed aubergines. She stood at the marble counter, bent over the vegetables, and she sang, filling the room with the golden

and heard. She would heal, he realized; her body would become well and return to what it had been before. Signora Petrelli believed she would be all right, but his experience told him that the effects of violence such as this would linger, perhaps for years, if only as a real and sudden fear that would come on her unexpectedly. Well, perhaps he was wrong and Americans were tougher than Italians, and perhaps she would emerge the same person, but he couldn’t stifle his concern for her. When he

stamped his feet a few times, unbuttoned his coat, and approached the counter. He ordered a grog and watched the waiter hold a glass under the spigot of the espresso machine and shoot it full of steam that quickly condensed to boiling water. Rum, a slice of lemon, a generous dash of something from a bottle, and then the barman placed it in front of him. Three sugars, and Brunetti had found salvation. He stirred the drink slowly, cheered by the aromatic steam that rose up softly from it. Like most

and most expensive companies in the city. In fact, it was they who had the more-or-less eternal contract to maintain his father-in-law’s palazzo against the equally eternal ravages of time and tide. * * * * Arturo, the oldest Scattalon son, was in the office but was unwilling to discuss a client’s affairs with the police. ‘I’m sorry, Commissario, but that is privileged information.’ ‘All I’d like is a general idea of how much the work cost, perhaps rounded out to the nearest ten

down at the control panel on the CD player, she punched the ‘Repeat’ button, then placed the piece of paper in the empty CD box, closed the box and leaned it upright against the door of the player. She took her keys from the table just inside the door and left the apartment. When she opened the main door downstairs, two men stepped quickly into the entrance way. She recognized one of them immediately as the shorter of the two men who had beaten her and only by a conscious effort of will kept

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