Acqua Alta by Donna Leon

Acqua Alta by Donna Leon

Another fine effort in this series, although not quite as good as previous books. This book concentrates on the world of faked museum pieces, specifically ceramics from the digs in Xian, China.
It is different from her other books in that there seems to be a lot more attention paid to details on how ceramics is made, how it can be fake, how one can tell a fake, and more underworld fingers in this very fascinating and lucrative business.
We begin with two characters from one of her earlier book, opera singer Flavia Petrelli and her female lover Brett Lynch who is an expert on all things ceramic and is involved in the Terra Cotta Warrior work over in China. Brett goes to open the door and is viciously attacked, so much so it requires hospitalization. Commissario Brunetti is assigned the case, and attempts to figure out why she was attacked, since the attackers told her to not keep a meeting with a museum official. A few days later that individual was killed in his office. And now Brunetti has to try and determine if the crimes were related and, if so, what is the motive. Of course we also have the typical Sicilian mafia figure who is part of the plot time. And, as it seems with many of Leon’s books, there is not an absolute legal justice as part of the solution.
This book had a good beginning and a slam bang ending but just lacked something. First of all, I thought it was too predictable and Brunetti came up with motive and villain way too easily. Second, we did not see much of the usual characters that inhabit these mysteries and which give the books their flavor. We did get an enlarged part for police secretary Signorina Elettra who is a great recent addition, but not much seen of his boss, Patta, or other police officers, nor many worthwhile scenes with his family (who again, are good supporting characters). Instead Brunetti solves the crime himself in a sort of lone wolf manner, all the while Venice is flooded with its usual February rains that makes the city basically a totally inhospitable place.
A good book, not up to par with her earlier efforts but certainly enough to keep this loyal reader happy until I get to Book 6!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top
Close