By Donna Leon
Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802119797, 260pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Late one night, Brunetti is called away from dinner to investigate the death of a widow in her modest apartment. Though there are some signs of a struggle, the medical examiner rules that she died of a heart attack. It seems there is nothing for Brunetti to investigate. But he can t shake the feeling that something or someone may have triggered her heart attack, that perhaps the woman was threatened. Conversations with the woman's son, her upstairs neighbor, and the nun in charge of the old-age home where she volunteered, do little to satisfy Brunetti's nagging curiosity. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, perhaps Brunetti can get to the truth and find some measure of justice.
Insightful and emotionally powerful, "Drawing Conclusions" reaffirms Donna Leon's status as one of the masters of literary crime fiction.
Praise for Drawing Conclusions
Donna Leon’s 20th Venetian mystery featuring her compassionate police detective, Commissario Guido Brunetti, epitomizes what we treasure most about this series: a feeling for the life of a sublimely beautiful city and a sensitivity to the forces that are reshaping it. Not to mention the pleasure of being in Brunetti’s company when this shrewd but scrupulously honest man is having a crisis of ethics at the flower market or trying to pry information from a hostile nun.” Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
"If you read only one mystery this year, make it this one.” Library Journal (starred review)
Leon’s twentieth novel starring Venetian police Commissario Guido Brunetti is one of her best. When [Brunetti] muses, the reader listens almost hypnotically, transfixed by the somehow ennobling ordinariness of this remarkable man’s humanity but also by the subtlety of his mind and his absolute refusal to succumb to the tyranny of bureaucrats and moralists. Leon’s popularity among mystery fans has grown steadily, but over the last several years, she has become a must-read for all those who favor character-driven crime stories.” Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
There is always doubt mixed with anticipation before diving into the latest in a favorite mystery series. The uncertainty is always there -- will it deliver the same fascination as previous books? Or will it disappoint? The compelling characters and complex plot in Leon's Drawing Conclusions place it among her best. The atmosphere of the city, along with Leon's sharp insights and powerful narrative, validate her often-recognized status as a master of literary crime fiction.”Merle Minda, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Leon’s fine 20th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery explores violence against women and the treatment of the elderly. Leon provides a vivid view of Venice, balancing the city’s glory days’ with the reality of the flaking dandruff of sun-blasted paint peeling from shutters.’ Compassionate yet incorruptible, Brunetti knows that true justice doesn’t always end in an arrest or a trial.” Publishers Weekly
Hard to believebut let’s be gratefulthat Commissario Guido Brunetti is on his 20th case. Essential for mystery collections.” Library Journal
As languid in its movement as a gondola ride. Yet none of Brunetti’s earlier cases is as remorselessly clear in connecting the delicately comic anti-authoritarian gestures Brunetti winks at to the miasma of corruption that hangs over his beloved Venice.” Kirkus Reviews
By now, with the arrival of Donna Leon’s 20th Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, the Venetian police commissioner seems almost as much an institution as the city’s venerable buildings. In an age of diminished civic and religious authority, the commissarioas his investigation proceedsmust make Jesuitical decisions of his own about guilt and innocence, punishment and absolution. In this finely written account, he comes down (as we know he will) on the side of the angels.” The Wall Street Journal
Remarkably, for a long-running series, Leon’s characters are more interesting now than they were 18 years ago. Even more remarkably, Leon’s own skills, honed over so many books, have grown and matured, and that makes this most recent novel her best book so far.” Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail