Release Date: 09/04/15
Publisher: William Heinemann
In Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon’s first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli – then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca.
As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers. But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses – on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment – it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker. Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help. Familiar with Flavia’s melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flavia’s fears may be justified. In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.
Ah a crime book that delivers what I love, a solid story with cracking characters and in particular with Donna’s writing a wonderfully descriptive look at Venice and those who live there. Its definitely a series that I always look forward to and when you add solid prose alongside a lead character that you just love to spend time with all round makes this a book that’s a real guilty pleasure and a cracking escape from dreary Britain.
Back this up with a solid arc and enough suspense to keep the title ticking over and all round I was a more than happy reader, although if you’re into the real gritty dirty crime type title you’d be best sticking with the current crop of Scandinavian work out there.