TITLE: THE ANONYMOUS VENETIAN
AUTHOR: DONNA LEON
Details: no. 3 Commissario Brunetti Mystery
Also Published As: Dressed for Death
Commissario Brunetti hopes of escaping a Venetian heatwave by going on a family holiday are dashed when the body of a murder victim is found. The man's face has been smashed in, and he was wearing a red dress with matching shoes when discovered.
For a long time the victim remains unidentified and Brunetti has to centre his investigation on the transvestite community in Venice.
Once the body has been given a name, Brunetti has a new direction in which to stear his investigation. However, even as matters become more clear, it also becomes obvious that it is highly unlikely that Brunetti will ever find the proof he needs to convict those responsible for this murder and for those that are to follow.
This is a great series. Brunetti is a very well written, sympathetic, and rounded character with flaws that only make him more real to the reader.
I also admire the way Donna Leon deals with with the corruption so endemic in Italian society, which forms a constant obstacle to Brunetti in the execution of his job. While she makes it clear how frustrating this is, she presents it as a fact of life, which I suppose must be how most Italians would perceive it.
I'm really going to enjoy slowly reading my way through this series.