I picked this up from my library just before everything shut down. Having read the book, I instantly regretted having gotten just the first in the series. This book is a little slow to get started, but once you are in it, it is everything you want in a police detective mystery. Bonus that it takes place in Venice, Italy, so while no one can physically visit right now, this book will take you there in your mind.
Police Commissario Guido Brunetti finds himself investigating the death of world famous conductor Helmut Wellaur, who dies during the intermission of a performance at La Fenice theater. We learn quickly that he was poisoned, but was it suicide, or murder? The investigation takes the reader into the Maestro’s not so perfect history with the baton, and the depravity of human nature.
Humor is interjected as Guido deals with (and plays beautifully) his incompetent boss, as well as though the glimpses of his home life. His wife, Paola, and their two children, Chiara and Giovanni, are quite wonderful. I hope that they appear frequently throughout the series. The relationship between Guido and his very wealthy and connected in-laws is also fun to watch.
This book is beautifully written, like literature, not just a summer beach read (not that I don’t enjoy those too!). The use of language is so descriptive that it captures everything about the city. You can almost feel like you are there, on the gondola, walking through St Marks Square, or lunching at a busy cafe. Whether you are an avid reader of mysteries or are new to the genre, this series this is an excellent starting point.