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Wilful Behaviour

A Commissario Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon

Donna Leon's detective Guido Brunetti operates from a canalside Questura similar to this one
Donna Leon's detective Guido Brunetti operates
from a canalside Questura similar to this one
Everyone seems to agree that Claudia Leonardo was a model student and a nice, polite young woman.

Her landlady, her flatmate and her tutor at the University of Venice all speak highly of her.

So why would someone visit her apartment one day and stab her to death?

Guido Brunetti, a Commissario of the Polizia di Stato in Venice, is determined to find the answer because he does not believe such a frenzied attack was the result of her having surprised a burglar.

His wife, Paola, was Claudia’s tutor and he had also recently met the young woman himself. Claudia had been to see him at the Questura to ask if it was possible to obtain a posthumous pardon for crimes committed by her grandfather.

Brunetti’s investigation causes him to look into events in Venice during World War II when citizens were desperate to sell their most valuable possessions in order to flee the city before the Germans arrived.

The Commissario visits Claudia’s grandfather’s former partner, a sick old lady living in a modest apartment apparently in poverty, despite the fact that her walls are covered with original art works that he estimates would be worth millions.

Wilful Behaviour is the 11th book
in Leon's Brunetti series
With technological assistance from his friend Signorina Elettra, the secretary to the Vice Questore, he is able to look into the financial affairs of the murder victim and discover Claudia regularly received large sums of money that she then gave away to charities.

The reader is able to accompany Brunetti as he walks from one end of Venice to the other in search of information and can admire the architecture and the views from the bridges over the canals with him.

And each time he returns to his own apartment near San Polo the reader can almost smell the risotto with zucca, the seabass with artichokes and the rabbit with walnuts and olives being cooked for him by Paola.

As the story develops it becomes more and more compelling reading as Brunetti uncovers layers of corruption to at last reveal the present day evil that led to Claudia’s murder.

Wilful Behaviour by Donna Leon won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger.

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