Like any city, Venice has its secrets and things in the past it would rather not be true but there are elements of the second world war that just might warrant murder in some eyes. Venice over the years since the war has of course changed -and those who collected paintings and artworks might now have to explain where they came from. When two people are murdered, then the past really has to come to the fore and be examined, however painful it might be.
Widespread profiteering, a misappropriation of art, and many many skeletons in even more cupboards. Locations Reset Italy A: Venice - Island of Pellestrina B: Venice - Querini Stampalia C: Venice - University in Venice D: Venice - Brunetti's office. Travel Guide Ah Venice. This time I noticed much more detail about the period after WW II - the fact that the real history of the war was falsified.
Wilful Behaviour has ratings and reviews. Alex is The Romance Fox said: Willful Behavior, (Commissario Brunetti Series #11 by Donna Leon) takes. Editorial Reviews. Review. "A classic example of detective-book murder, it is satisfyingly difficult.
Count Falier says, "Just like the French, we couldn't forget what happened during the war years fast enough. You know my feelings about the Germans But to give them credit, they looked at what they did The Allies, once the Nuremberg trials were over, would never had pushed the Germans' noses in it.
But they chose to examine the war years, at least to a certain degree. We never did, and so there is no history of those years, at least none that's reliable. Vianello says, "'You can understand young people believing all that shit. After all, the schools don't teach them anything about what really happened. But you'd think people who lived it, who were adults all during it and who saw what happened, you'd think they'd realize. Commissario Brunetti's wife Paola is approached by one of her students with a question - is there a way for someone convicted of a crime to get a posthumous pardon?
She speaks to Brunetti and admits it is about her grandfather, and he voices his opinion that he does not believe a pardon is possible. But later she is found stabbed to death in her apartment, and Brunetti's investigation into her grandfather uncovers a tale of Nazi collaboration and acquisition of art from desperate German Jews dur Commissario Brunetti's wife Paola is approached by one of her students with a question - is there a way for someone convicted of a crime to get a posthumous pardon?
But later she is found stabbed to death in her apartment, and Brunetti's investigation into her grandfather uncovers a tale of Nazi collaboration and acquisition of art from desperate German Jews during World War II. This moved along at a rather slow pace, but the history of opportunistic avarice by ruthless art brokers during the war was interesting. I must say, though, that through this series I have concluded that although Italy would be a lovely place to visit, the corruption in government that is so casually spoken of, that permeates through almost every aspect of life there, makes it a place I would not want to live in unless I was fabulously wealthy.
This novel is less of a detective story than a comment on contemporary Italian society. Commissario Brunetti is a cop with a difference; he has a normal family life: This part is refreshing from the stereotypical coffee-guzzling, sleep deprived, divorced North American or Swedish cop who guzzles pizza and burgers whenever hunger calls, but who always gets his mur This novel is less of a detective story than a comment on contemporary Italian society. This part is refreshing from the stereotypical coffee-guzzling, sleep deprived, divorced North American or Swedish cop who guzzles pizza and burgers whenever hunger calls, but who always gets his murderer.
Brunetti gets his man? These secrets seem to be awaiting a precipitating event like a murder to come flooding out. Someone said that the modern murder mystery has moved beyond the basic crime puzzle to become a platform for social observation and commentary. That the modern murder mystery is now even a political novel. May 06, LJ rated it it was amazing Shelves: The explosion came at breakfast. A student of Insp. Brunetti is not given enough information initially, but the question peaks his interest. When the student, Claudia Leonardo, is murdered, the question goes from being a matter of curiosity to an investigation.
Leon is a wonderful writer. Her writing is intelligent, literary and thought provoking with cracking good dialogue. She is merciless toward the tempering of historical information, the corruption of the government and American tourists. She imbues her story with an underlying theme; in this case, honour. Leon gives us such wonderful characters in Brunetti, about whose childhood we learn more, his wife, Paola, and the strength of their year marriage, and the intriguing Signorina Elettra. One cares about her characters; not only the principals but, in this case, Claudia and her grandmother, because, I believe, of the strength of her central, Brunetti.
The city of Venice is almost another character in the story. The sense of place is so strong and, in spite of its faults, the obvious love Brunetti has for his city. The descriptions of the family meals make me want to join them. Yet, coming back to the theme of honour, Brunetti would have left his city because of a point of honour. I particularly like that the reader learn the information at the same time as Brunetti.
When he is lead down the wrong path, so are we; when he begins to suspect, so do we. I am a true fan of Ms. Yes, it's a mystery novel, but Leon's books are so much more. Reflections on life, man's inhumanity to man, how the past never goes away, fascism, anti-Semitism, and more, swirl around the story in a most thought-engaging way.
Another winner from this author. Commissario Brunetti is introduced to a young student of his wife's, who asks if he can help obtain a pardon for her deceased grandfather. To say that man had a shady reputation is being kind, but suddenly young Claudia is murdered, and it s Yes, it's a mystery novel, but Leon's books are so much more.
To say that man had a shady reputation is being kind, but suddenly young Claudia is murdered, and it seems she was to be heir to much of her grandfather's ill-gotten? Where Brunetti's interest before was mild, it is now deeply engaged, and he finds he must go to the past to understand the present. Sep 20, Netti rated it liked it Shelves: Ich hatte eine lange, lange Pause gemacht nach dem ersten Dutzend Donna-Leon-Romanen, denn ich konnte das intellektuell versnobte und rosarot harmonische Privatleben von Brunetti einfach nicht mehr ertragen Alles ist ziemlich verkopft und emotionslos, bis dann am Ende noch ein bisschen Spannung und psychotische Leidenschaft auftauchen.
Feb 20, Elizabeth Fagin rated it really liked it. I have really been enjoying this series featuring Commisario Guido Brunetti, set in modern day Venice. The characters are great and the sense of place is wonderful. I was disappointed in the last one 10 because the sub plot threw a monkey wrench into the relationship between Guido and his wife.
I do tend to get over-involved wth the characters in books. However in this one 11 , every thing is back to normal in the Brunetti household and I could go back to enjoying the story. This series, which at the current time counts 23! Pretty much mind candy, but not the over-indulgent type. Guido is a fine upstanding citizen doing his best to bring justice to the apparently corruption-laden Venetian culture.
His wife Paola is a very smart English Lit professor who views the world with a mixture of wry disdain and out-right anger at the injustices around her. Both are wonderful parents to their two teenage kids, who sometimes have adventures of their own. And the mysteries provide some interesting twists and turns. I rated it a four because sometimes I just enjoy a lazy read. If you are looking for some intellectual heft - you'd probable give it a 3.
But you just might enjoy the book anyway. I am going to do this review in two parts one for the book and one for the audio edition. The book is another thoughtful addition to the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.
There is always a mix of mystery, ethics and politics that are blended together to make it an engaging series with a mix of both thoughtful characters and inept impediments to solutions and progress. I enjoyed the book quite a bit and would recommend it.
This was an audio "read" for me as has been most of the series. They are p I am going to do this review in two parts one for the book and one for the audio edition. I can hear the characters in my head with his voice when I read one of the books. So I was not prepared for this one narrated by Steven Crossley. Suddenly Brunetti has an English accent as do all the rest of the characters. It was unsettling and I couldn't get used to it. I am not opposed to change but having Brunetti sound English just didn't make the pasta sit right.
It was a skillful narration but it just felt wrong View all 3 comments.
Feb 03, Spuddie rated it it was amazing. One of Guido's wife Paola's university students asks her if she can talk to Guido about a person being pardoned for a crime committed years previously, but asks in such vague terms that Guido tells Paola to have the girl speak to him directly. She does, and from what she tells him, gleans some clues to figure out who she's speaking about and starts inquiring among his older friends about the man he believes to be her grandfather, and h 11 Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery set in Venice, Italy.
She does, and from what she tells him, gleans some clues to figure out who she's speaking about and starts inquiring among his older friends about the man he believes to be her grandfather, and his dealings during and after WWII. And then, just a couple of days later, the girl is brutally stabbed to death in her apartment. It seems too coincidental not to be related to the girl's inquiries to Guido, but of course he must investigate every aspect of Claudia Leonardo's life to find out if it might have been something else--something personal--that brought her to such a violent death.
As often occurs in Leon's books, the justice that is meted out is not always the legal kind. Enjoyable visit to Leon's wonderfully atmospheric Venice, as always. Jul 05, Susan Hirtz rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was eminently enjoyable, not only in its descriptions of Venice, where Donna Leon excels, but in its plot twists and turns. Her language encapsulates beautifully, leaving the reader within the mind of her main character, Guido Brunetti, Commissario of Police, aware of his personal flaws, yet always forgiving of this humane and sensitive man.
She begins, as she usually does, with an ordinary situation rapidly becoming an unusual one. It leads us through Brunetti's involvement, his motive This book was eminently enjoyable, not only in its descriptions of Venice, where Donna Leon excels, but in its plot twists and turns. It leads us through Brunetti's involvement, his motives and his flair for humor and love for his family, his relationships with his wife and his friends and co-workers, each one having special characteristics, now, after many books, becoming beloved.
One is left with a complete sense of satisfaction at the end of a Leon novel, replete as with a gourmet meal followed by grappa. This book, in particular, is among her finest and I can't recommend it more highly. With this book in the Brunetti series, Leon has taken a major step forward as a writer. After the thriller Sea of Troubles, which was beautifully written if a bit difficult to believe, Leon has moved to a much higher level of character development and writing.
Her use of point of view alone is worth the price of the book, and reminds me very much of Jane Austen. The plot in this mystery takes second place to the characters, and the Venetian scene nearly disappears aside from the references to ch With this book in the Brunetti series, Leon has taken a major step forward as a writer. The plot in this mystery takes second place to the characters, and the Venetian scene nearly disappears aside from the references to churches being reconstructed which I take to be metaphors about the characters and situation, another growth in writing ability.
This is a multi-dimensional novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and will read again, many times, to extract its full value. Aug 09, Lilian O. This is at least the 2nd time I have read this book. I love the Brunetti series, I have reread a number of them. The ambiance of Venice is wonderful to read about, especially the food. I love detective stories, but Brunetti is such a paragon of intelligence and honor is solving his crimes it is a joy to read. I just love these books -- they are slow and almost contemplative, such a difference from the standard crime novel where a body is dropped in the first chapter.
These books are as much about Commissario Brunetti and about Venice as they are about the crime. It was fascinating to read this one, in which the actions of folks in WW II are still haunting the present. Feb 15, Cynthia rated it it was amazing. This one is superb. It plays out via an examination of -- according to the book -- Italy's failure to come to terms with Fascism. Driving that examination are an underlying theme of honor and compelling characters who are insightfully drawn; one of the characters, in particular, is quite Dickensian. The social commentary is razor sharp Dec 13, Camilla rated it really liked it.
Great writing, history lessons, literature "classes", intro to Italian Cuisine and exposure to Italians! I just love Guido and his wife Paola! Aug 08, Shuriu rated it it was amazing. She had been lecturing, recently, on the theme of honor and honorable behavior and the way it was central to Wharton's three great novels, but she was preoccupied with whether the concept still had the same meaning for her students; indeed, whether it had any meaning for her students…. Though she walked through the city of Venice to reach her classroom, it was New York that was on her mind, the city where the drama of the lives of the women in Wharton's novels had played out a century ago.
Atte She had been lecturing, recently, on the theme of honor and honorable behavior and the way it was central to Wharton's three great novels, but she was preoccupied with whether the concept still had the same meaning for her students; indeed, whether it had any meaning for her students….
Attempting to navigate the shoals of social custom, old and new money, the established power of men, and the sometimes greater power of their own beauty and charm, her three protagonists found themselves perpetually buffeted against the hidden rocks of honor. But passage of time, Paola reflected, had vaporized from the common mind any universal agreement on what constituted honorable behavior. Certainly the books did not suggest that honor triumphed: How, then, to argue for its importance, especially to a class of young people who would identify -- if indeed students were any longer capable of identification with characters who were not in film -- only with the third?
During her seventh year of teaching, she'd made a reference to the Iliad and, in the face of general blankness, had discovered that only one of the students in the class had any memory of having read it, and even he was utterly incapable of understanding the concept of heroic behavior. The Trojans had lost, hadn't they, so who cared how Hector had behaved?
It's more that I've become aware of how bad it's become. Or, if not superior, then at least interesting enough to be worthy of some study…. But that doesn't happen anymore. They think, or at least they seem to think, that their culture, with its noise and acquisitiveness and immediate forgettability is superior to all of our stupid ideas. The tone in which she asked this reminded Brunetti that the girl was not much older than his own children and that her intellectual sophistication didn't necessarily imply any other sort of maturity.
It seemed to him that in the last few years American tourists had doubled in size. They had always been big, but big in the way the Scandinavians were big: But now they were lumpish and soft as well as big, agglomerations of sausage-like limbs that left him with the sensation that his hand would come away slick if he touched them. He knew it was impossible for human physiology to change at less than glacial speed, but he suspected some shocking transformation had nevertheless taken place in what was required to sustain human life: Why were they so slow and fat and lethargic?
Why did they all have to get in his way? Why couldn't they, for God's sake, learn to walk properly in a city and not moon about like people at a country fair asked to judge the fattest pig?
Pretentious, upstart scum, the usual sort of people who are attracted to that kind of political idea. It's the only chance they'll ever have in their lives to have power or wealth, and so they gang together like rats and take what they can. Then, as soon as the game's up, they're the first to say they were morally opposed all the time but feared for the safety of their families. It's remarkable the way like that always manage to find some high-sounding excuse for what they did. The mingled tastes drove all dread of Raffi's music from Brunetti's mind, and the chicken breast grilled with sage and white wine that followed replaced the music with what Brunetti thought must be the sound of angels singing.
They'd been at an exhibition of the paintings of the Colombian painter, Botero, she drawn to the wild exuberance of the portraits of fat, pie-faced men and women, all possessed of the same tiny rosebud mouth. In front of them was a teacher with a class of children who couldn't have been more than eight or nine. As he and Paola came into the last room of the exhibition, they heard the teacher say, "Now, ragazzi, we're going to leave, but there are a lot of people here who don't want to be disturbed by our noise or talking. So what we're all going to do," she went on, pointing to her own mouth, "is make la bocca di Botero.
Since then, whenever either he or Paola knew that to speak might be indiscreet, they invoked "la bocca di Botero", and no doubt thus saved themselves a great deal of trouble, to make no mention of time and wasted energy. But one would never, somehow, associate her with money. In fact I remember noticing, when she'd comment on why characters in novels did things, that she was always slightly puzzled that people could be led to do things by greed, almost as if she didn't understand it, or it didn't make any human sense to her.
So, no, she wouldn't spend it on anything she wanted for herself. How can that show you what she'd behave like in real life? You should know that by now, that is if you've paid any attention to anything I've said during the last twenty years. We were young, I was in love, and the future was ours. Men like that, in the end, love only themselves. Or didn't want to. Blowing out a long trail of smoke, she said, "It comes to the same thing, though, doesn't it?
Softly, she said, "That's why I wanted to give him back his good name. Sensing this, she went on, "It was all so exciting, the sense or the hope that everything would be made new. Austria had been full of it for years, and so it never occurred to me to question it.