Thursday, 9 April 2015

Falling in love by Donna Leon

(Commissario Brunetti #24)
256 pages
Atlantic Monthly Press (April 7, 2015)

Donna Leon is well known - especially thanks to her character Guido Brunetti (and his love of good food) - yet I had not read her books. The fact that her novels take place in Italy has played in favor of the book when I chose my next reading. A little sunshine and Italian warmth could only be beneficial in these months of endless winter!

Donna Leon, is all about good taste in every sense of the word! Good musical taste (especially the opera) but also historical, architectural and gastronomic. Reading Falling in Love is like roaming the streets of Venice, meet great (and a bit posh) people, listen opera, looking at beautiful stuff and enjoy some great food... With all that, it's already quite a trip!

For those of you (and I know there's a LOT of you) who have already read everything written by Leon, you'll have the (great or not great) surprise to meet back Flavia, the opera singer who this time is not a culprit but the victim. So it's a return in the - let's say bloody - milieu of the opera, with a too many great amount of yellow roses, to Flavia's displeasure. Brunetti, skeptical at first, will eventually be convinced of the twisted and dangerous aspect of the world of opera and especially of fans.

This novel will appeal especially to those who love the atmosphere in police novels. Here, no great violence, no hard to read scenes, everything is about good education, good manners, Venice, music and great food. The mystery will be resolved by Brunetti, with the help of his colleagues who are doing a big part of the job and the culprit who leaves big enough clues for the police to found him/her (mwahaha, no you won't know if it's a she or a he!) You should easily - and more quickly than Brunetti and his colleagues - solve some puzzles where they will take a too much time for my taste. I admit to having a preference for characters with vivid intelligence.

The blurb

Donna Leon’s Death at La Fenice, the first novel in her beloved Commissario Guido Brunetti series, introduced readers to the glamorous and cutthroat world of opera and one of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli—then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to Venice and La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca.

Brunetti and his wife, Paola, attend an early performance, and Flavia receives a standing ovation. Back in her dressing room, she finds bouquets of yellow roses—too many roses. Every surface of the room is covered with them. An anonymous fan has been showering Flavia with these beautiful gifts in London, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and now, Venice, but she no longer feels flattered. A few nights later, invited by Brunetti to dine at his in-laws’ palazzo, Flavia confesses her alarm at these excessive displays of adoration. And when a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia’s attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia’s fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined. He must enter in the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm.

In a nutshell

A preppy novel for a relatively easy plot without much violence. It is a 3.5 / 5 for me.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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