The Temptation of Forgiveness – Donna Leon

The Temptation of Forgiveness - Donna Leon
The Temptation of Forgiveness – Donna Leon

Set against the familiar background of Italian corruption at all levels, The Temptation of Forgiveness is our 27th police procedural in the erudite company of Commissario Guido Brunetti.

When a man is found badly injured after a late night attack on the steps of one of Venice’s many bridges, the victim’s wife turns out to be one of Paola’s colleagues, who’d recently spoken with Brunetti concerning her son’s suspected use of drugs.

As Brunetti and his colleagues – Commissario Griffoni,  Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra – investigate, preconceptions and prejudices come into play, and moral dilemmas abound.

Publisher page: The Temptation of Forgiveness – Donna Leon

A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

A Venetian Reckoning - Donna Leon
A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

An early encounter with Guido Brunetti. Carlo Trevisan, a leading Venetian lawyer, is found murdered on a train on its return to Venice.

Things get uncomfortable at home when Brunetti learns that his teenage daughter Chiara was at school with Trevisan’s daughter, and asks her to help him find out more about the family – much to Paola’s anger.

Publisher page: A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

The Waters of Eternal Youth – Donna Leon

The Waters of Eternal Youth - Donna Leon
The Waters of Eternal Youth – Donna Leon

Brunetti is asked to investigate the attack on the teenage grand daughter of Contessa Lando-Continui, a friend of his parents-in-law, which left Manuela with a mental age of 6-7 …. 15 years ago.

With the by now familiar an not strictly by the book assistance from Signora Elettra, and with Commissario Claudia Griffoni as his co-investigator rather than trusty Vianello, we see Brunetti comfortable working in a predominantly female context, and see Venice through female eyes.

Publisher’s page: The Waters of Eternal Youth – Donna Leon

Night Rounds – Helene Tursten

Night Rounds - Helene Tursten (trans Laura A Wideburg)
Night Rounds – Helene Tursten

Swedish Detective Inspector Irene Huss investigates the murder of a nurse and death of a patient at a private hospital in Goteborg. A complicated case from the start, things take a turn for the worse as more deaths follow.

The original novel was published (in Swedish) in 1999 and it shows its age, particularly in mobile phone usage. The English translation I read, by Laura A Wideburg, is for an American audience – with occasional jarring consequences. Irene Huss’s jujitsu skillset also irritated.

Publisher’s page: Night Rounds – Helene Tursten (trans Laura A Wideburg)

The Baklava Club – Jason Goodwin

The Baklava Club - Jason Goodwin
The Baklava Club – Jason Goodwin

Back to nineteenth century Istanbul, in the company of Yashim the eunuch who is also a bit of a sleuth – although not much of a eunuch it appears as you head towards the end of the book.

In The Baklava Club our Ottoman Detective grapples with Italian revolutionaries, a Polish Prince and a Catholic priest, as well as the valide and a visiting daughter of a Decembrist exile.

Publisher page: The Baklava Club – Jason Goodwin