A good detective story taking place in a beautiful part of Italy is a real treat for people who enjoy reading crime mysteries and also happen to love Italy. Use this website to find out more about the locations, the lifestyle and the food and the wine experienced by the characters created by your favourite authors.


Friends in High Places

A Commissario Brunetti novel by Donna Leon

This is one of my favourite Brunetti novels because of the superb plotting by Donna Leon. It is always satisfying for crime fiction fans to be able to close a book at the end and think that everything makes complete sense and the conclusion was inevitable. But it is even better if you haven’t worked it out too soon.

This novel always leads the reader in the right direction but the circumstances at the end throw up a surprise.
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice

Brunetti is visited by a young man working for an office in Venice investigating illegal building. He hits Brunetti with the news that his apartment, just off the Grand Canal, does not exist officially and Brunetti is unable to produce the original plans for his floor to prove the official wrong.

The young man later discovers Brunetti is a police officer and rings him from his telefonino to say he is worried about something to do with his work. Brunetti tells him he would be better speaking from a public phone, but the young man does not ring back and it comes as no surprise to the reader that his dead body is discovered soon afterwards.

Brunetti does not believe the young man died accidentally and sets out with the faithful Sergeant Vianello to discover the truth.

Donna Leon frequently exposes the less savoury side of Venetian society in her books and in this novel, both money lending and drug addiction play their parts in the plot.

But, as always, her writing highlights the beauty of Venice as well and allows the reader to enjoy it with Brunetti from far away. Food lovers can also take pleasure in reading about the delicious meals Brunetti’s wife serves up for her family, cooked with fresh ingredients bought at the food market at the foot of the Rialto Bridge.

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