I finished this up yesterday and found I enjoyed the book a lot. I hope I’ll be able to fit in reading more books in the series at some point. (Happily, except for this first one that I had to borrow from the library, the rest are all available for Kindle – and I’m even allowed to buy them down here in little old New Zealand.)
I was rather proud of myself that I had essentially guessed the murderer about ¾ of the way through, even though I couldn’t figure out the why of it until, like Guido, I had some more information to make all the pieces fall into place.
I wouldn’t say I’ve totally fallen for Guido Brunetti, but I feel this kind of solid solidarity for him, not that we are familiar, but that he’s someone who would make a good friend. His family are lovely and I am delighted to know they continue to feature as the series progresses.
I found the book to have a sort of middle ground between a light mystery and a detailed police procedural. We don’t get the nitty, gritty of murder and forensics and blood and hate. Instead, it’s a slow, steady and interesting development of and care towards the details so that the pieces of the puzzle can be put together and a solution to the mystery found.
I was a little confused about when this was set at first, since there was a lot of talk of what the victim had done before and during the Second World War, which seemed a very long and distant way away to me, making me wonder if it was meant to be set a decade or two prior to when it was published. But as I sorted out dates as the book progressed, I figured out that it must be set right about when it was published (the copyright date is 1992). Perhaps, if you’re Italian with German victim and suspects, the war still feels a lot closer than it does way over here? I don’t know, but I’m glad I figured out the time period as that kind of thing tends to bug me. (I’ll be interested to see if computers and cell phones work their way into the stories as the series progresses.)
The next book to be published in the series is something like number 20, so if I want to keep reading, I’ve got plenty ahead of me to enjoy. Yay.
7/10 for this one.