GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BOOK MY PLACE – This Donna Leon novel is rather different from the ones I have reviewed month by month over the previous years. We see less of Brunetti’s delightful family and the story is set in motion not by a murder, but by the disappearance of rare books and the tearing of pages from others in Venice’s prestigious Biblioteca Merula.
Of course, Brunetti’s superior, Patta, can see no issue worth investigating here, but the fact that many of the books were donated by the wealthy distinguished Venetian Contessa Elisabetta Morosini-Albani leads him to allow Brunetti to pursue the case.
Nickerson, a Kansas professor, researching in the library, is the obvious culprit and his credentials prove to be fabricated. However, more puzzling is the fact that nothing was noticed either by ‘Tertullian’ who sat close to Nickerson every day, pursuing his researches into the Church Fathers, or by Piero Sartor, the watchful guard.
A brutal murder leads us to the denouement.