Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti #9) by Donna Leon

Book 9 in the Commissario Brunetti series is not quite up to the others by this wonderful author. A lot goes and and Brunetti is forced to face a few deaths which turn out to be murders, as will as Vice Questore Patta’s sons drug possession arrest. To top that off we have a scandal in the city planners office, an inefficient Fraud Department and a pair of unscrupulous money lenders. And let’s not forget heirs of an ancient Doge who had ruled Venice in the 1300’s. Sound like a lot? It is and while many things are interrelated, not all happens to happily fit into overall plot of the book. This could easily have been two separate books with all the issues that are on display here, and as is the norm for Venice “justice” is not always part of the solution, but there are moral and societal penalties that result. My problem with this book is that there are many matters that have no resolution and some are so open-ended that come nowhere near telling a full story of the issues presented. It is well written and a fast read, with lots of Venetian atmosphere but it just does not come up to the high standards of most of Leon’s books.

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