First Sentence: It had been a tedious Monday, much of it spent with the written witness statements about a fight between two taxi drivers that had sent one of them to the hospital with a concussion and a broken right arm.
stealing pages from some rare books as well as stealing whole books as
well from a prestigious library in Venice. Their one possible witness
is an ex-priest who has been coming to the library for years. It
quickly becomes clear to Commissario Guido Brunetti that the man for
whom they are looking is an American professor with credentials from an
American university. Not only do they discover the credentials are
false, but that other libraries in Italy have suffered losses as well.
is truly a book that bibliophiles will love. Yet it is one that will
occasionally make a bibliophile cringe. There is a wonderful
description of old, handmade books.
It is nice to not always
start with a murder, but to let the story build. That takes a truly
confident writer. But be patient; the murder will come.
Guido Brunetti is such an excellent and appealing character. He is
well aware of the corruption and graft within the government and the
police department. Yet he believes in his job and works to bring
justice. One wonderful thing about Leon’s writing is that her
characters are anything but one dimensional. Brunetti’s family is just
as much a part of the series as is he. For those who have followed the
series, it’s nice to see how relationships have evolved. However, even
for new readers, there is enough history provided that one never feels
as though they are missing something.
Leon is an incredibly
intelligent author. The things one learns, on a variety of subjects,
are nearly as interesting as the mystery. She makes the reader curious
to look thinks up and to know more. She provides small statements that
make you think, and sometimes question the way you’ve thought…”It’s
more important to understand people than to forgive them.”
“By Its Cover” is an excellent and rather unusual mystery with an eyebrow-raising twist in the plot.
BY ITS COVER (Pol Proc-Comm. Guido Brunetti-Itlay-Contemp) – Ex
Leon, Donna – 23rd in series
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014