ISBN-10: 0802128068
ISBN-13: 9780802128065
Publisher: Grove Press
Publish Date: 05/15/2018
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.50" W, 0.80" H

About Face: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery


Price: $16.00


Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti and his wife, Paola, are on their way to a dinner party when Brunetti’s eye is caught by a couple ahead of them: a woman in an impossibly expensive fur coat on the arm of a much older man. He is intrigued when they turn out to be fellow dinner guests, and even more so when he sees the woman’s face, which has been disfigured by excessive plastic surgery. She is Franca Marinello, La Superliftata, whom he’s heard of but never met. This intelligent, mysterious woman entrances Brunetti with her love of Virgil and Cicero, but when she visits him later at the Questura and asks a favor, he is troubled. Her request seems to land near his investigation into a suspicious death and the illegal hauling of garbage. In Italy, the environment has reached a crisis; incinerators across the south are at full capacity, burning who-knows-what, the polluted waters of Venice’s canals sit in the shadow of a major chemical complex, and in Naples, enormous piles of garbage grow in the streets. As Brunetti delves into this shadowy, toxic world, he comes face to face with violence and corruption more dangerous than anything he’s seen before. An exceptional installment in this masterful series, About Face is Donna Leon at her finest.


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Praise for About Face:

"Leon . . . is so generous with the humanizing details that make this series special. There are long walks in Brunetti's warm company and lively talks with his clever wife and even more engaging father-in-law, who can see the appetites of a modern consumer reflected in a 17th-century portrait. As detective work goes, it's a tiny masterpiece of analysis."–Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"About Face continues Donna Leon's deeply satisfying series about Venetian cop Guido Brunetti . . . Brunetti is canny, reflective and adept at maneuvering through tricky situations. Here, he tackles environmental crimes, an enigmatic and aristocratic woman, and, of course, murder."–Adam Woog, Seattle Times

"Fine and atmospheric . . . Leon excels at depicting Brunetti's warm and complex domestic life, and in classic Brunetti style this outing starts with a dinner party . . . In About Face she ratchets up the tension further, expanding on both the intimate and social complexities that make her books so rich."–Clea Simon, Boston Globe

"Leon's books have many pleasures, including the traditional ones of intricate crimes artfully solved. But the deepest satisfaction comes from following Brunetti on his daily routine. The Commissario's life is organized around eating lunch and dinner at home . . . I can't think of another family in literature whose members enjoy one another's company so much."Bloomberg News

"The eighteenth novel starring Guido Brunetti, from . . . the undisputed crime fiction queen . . . [whose] ability to capture the city's social scene and internal politics is first-rate."The Baltimore Sun

"One of contemporary crime literature's most engaging cops."Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"With an intricate style and credible characters, what more could a reader ask? Good writing, and Leon is a master prose stylist . . . Leon hits only true notes in this gracefully composed and unsettling installment in her distinguished series."Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Commissario Guido Brunetti is a man a reader might easily fall in love with. He is thoughtful, introspective, caring, protective of his family and his city . . . [I]f you know Venice, have wandered its streets and hidden alleys and have hopped on a vaporetto to get somewhere, you'll revel in Brunetti's perceptions."St. Petersburg Times

"Few aspects of Venetian life have escaped the scrutiny of Donna Leon's highly entertaining series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. About Face, the 18th installment, continues those high standards . . . Brunetti, one of crime fiction's most beloved police inspectors, knows he can never defeat Italian corruption, but he will never give up trying."South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"It is no mean feat to sustain a mystery series at this high a level . . . Of course, that is just what Donna Leon has accomplished and more . . . Once again the reader is treated to the sights and sounds of Venice as well as Brunetti's love of classical literature and the delightful observances of his wife. Written with subtlety and insight into the characters, the novel, as its predecessors, is a pleasure to read."Midwest Book Review

"Leon's carved out edgy new territory with familiar tools and it's brilliant."Open Letters Monthly

"With her 18th stellar entry in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, Leon continues to live up to the increasingly high standards set by each novel . . . Leon not only offers superb plotting and engaging dialog, but also captures the atmosphere of Venetian daily life. Thus, Brunetti enjoys frequent, leisurely meals with his wife and children. Leon's evocation of these meals is so delectable that readers feel as though they are participating in the repasts . . . Highly recommended."Library Journal (starred review)

"The stench of corruption that always hangs over Venice grows disconcertingly literal when Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a case involving the illegal disposal of toxic waste. [In About Face] there are the usual sharp scenes of Brunetti at work and at home, and a surprisingly warm relationship develops between Brunetti and his hitherto remote father-in-law."Kirkus Reviews

"Leon flawlessly melds the two plot threads as she parallels her characters' vulnerability with that of Venice."Publishers Weekly

"The signature elements of any Leon novel are present here–the island-like tranquility of Brunetti's domestic life; his ongoing sparring with his bureaucrat boss–but this time the focus is more on the central stories: the mysterious woman and the garbage scandal. Brunetti tackles environmental malfeasance as he does all the other kinds of rampant governmental corruption he encounters, recognizing that full-frontal assaults are never won by individuals against institutions. Instead, he chips away at the edges of the monolith, carving shreds of hope from seeming hopelessness. No wonder we find him such a comforting presence."Booklist

"It's testament to Leon's skill as a storyteller that disparate elements blend into yet another great Brunetti outing. She combines the minutiae of daily life in Venice with pitch-perfect descriptions of police procedure, the now-familiar rhythms of Brunetti's home life with a ferocious knowledge of literature, delivered–how else?–with a sure, yet light, touch . . . The details of home-cooked meals and family arguments, alongside a never-ending flow of crime, add a depth to Leon's stories and are what makes her characters so believable and, in turn, her books so readable."Independent (UK)

"While the Commissario never seems to age or change, Italy does. That's always the subtext of Donna Leon's brilliantly conceived works. Brunetti does his job while the world around him seems always swirling out of control. There isn't a weak book in this series, and About Face is definitely one of the best of the lot."Globe & Mail

"Over the past two decades Donna Leon has done for Venice what Colin Dexter did for Oxford and Sara Paretsky for Chicago. Through a series of crime novels in which her home town plays as great a part as any of her human protagonists, she has made hundreds of thousands of fans into Venetian know-it-alls . . . She is in a long and distinguished line of expat Venetian writers that includes Byron, Ruskin, Henry James and latterly Salley Vickers and the late Michael Dibdin."Telegraph (UK)

"While About Face is the 18th of Leon's Brunetti novels, it can be read without reference to what has gone before. Jump on here, by all means, but leave time to catch up. You will want to read every word of every Brunetti book."–

"Overflowing with atmosphere . . . About Face is another winner from Donna Leon."–

"Donna Leon's eighteenth novel starring the warm hearted, perceptive, erudite Guido Brunetti . . . About Face excels as a mystery, a delightful exploration of Venice: its history, culture, food and family life, and also an exploration of political corruption and greed . . . Highly recommended!"I Love a Mystery

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ISBN-10: 0802128068
ISBN-13: 9780802128065
Publisher: Grove Press
Publish Date: 05/15/2018
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.50" W, 0.80" H
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