I’ve decided to join the Bookalicious Babe’s 100 Book Challenge for 2011. The challenge involves reading 50 to 100 books from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011, and blogging about them.
Book Number: 1
Author: Donna Leon
Back Cover Synopsis: In Friends in High Places, Commissario Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat investigating the lack of official approval for the building of Brunetti’s apartment years before. What began as a red tape headache ends in murder when the bureaucrat is later found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that will take him into the unfamiliar and dangerous areas of drug abuse and loan-sharking and will reveal, once again, what a difference it makes in Venice to have friends in high places.
My Thoughts: A couple years ago, I heard a BBC 4 interview with Donna Leon where she was talking about her latest mystery. The main character, Brunetti, sounded interesting, so I bought the first book in the series. I have a thing about starting with the first book and working my way through a series. I feel like I’m missing nuances if I’m not there from the beginning.
Friends in High Places (book nine) has everything I like about series: insider glimpses of Venice, character growth, scrumptious food, compelling interactions with family and coworkers, and a satisfying mystery. Leon doesn’t just write; she crafts each sentence. But rather than being too fussy, the style is soothing.
Brunetti spends a lot of time in his own head, thinking about people’s motivations. And as his mind wanders down different paths, he usually takes me with him and gives me something to think about. But this time, his wife Paola had the quote that made me stop and think: “Life offered her a series of choices that might have made things different, and she made the choices she did. My guess is that each one of those choices made the next one inevitable…”
I love the series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
Next up: Cut & Run, by Madeline Urban and Abigail Roux.