Having thoroughly enjoyed Fatal Remedies, I rushed headlong into Friends in High Places. Well worth paying the penalty of starting Donna Leon’s Brunetti novels with zero knowledge of the order in which they were written.
In Friends in High Places the Brunettis are informed by a planning officer that their flat doesn’t exist, despite solid physical evidence to the contrary. We are introduced to all the weird and wonderful “logic” of Italian bureaucracy, and the Brunettis immediate instinct as to how to deal with the risk of losing their family home? To turn to friends and family in high places…..
The book’s title takes on a more sinister meaning with the planning officer is found dead, apparently having fallen from one of Venice’s many old building’s being restored. And that charming old couple Brunetti sees in Piazza San Marco? Evil money lenders who call in such valuable properties in lieu of unpaid/unpayable debts.