Wednesday 26 June 2019

Unto Us a Son Is Given

Finished June 10
Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon

I always enjoy the books featuring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti, and this one is more personal than some others. Leon always includes some of Brunetti's personal life in her stories, with his wife Paola and his two children, Chiara and Raffi. In this one, his father-in-law Count Orazio Falier plays a larger role, and the life of Paola's godfather, a Spanish-born artist Gonzalo Rodriquez de Tejada, is at the center of the story. Orazio approaches Brunetti about a concern he has regarding an action of Gonzalo's. Gonzalo is enamoured of a younger man, and wants to adopt him so that he will inherit. Orazio is concerned that Gonzalo is being manipulated, and that, unlike a marriage or other partnership, this action can't be undone, and regrets may follow. He asks the department secretary Elletra Zorzi, a woman of many skills in information gathering to follow a couple of paths for more information on the young man in question, and talks to both his wife and one of his officers Griffoni, who let him see the situation from different vantage points. But when Gonzalo suddenly drops dead, and a close friend comes from England for a memorial service and is killed, he must look at things more closely.
There is also an interesting side story related to the personal life of Brunetti's superior, the Vice-Questore Patta. This story gives an added dimension to that character that we haven't seen before, and is an interesting situation to consider.
As usual, this book gives a sense of the ambience of Venice, and has lots of lovely food and drink to make your mouth water. I enjoyed it.

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