April 2012 Indie Next List
“When Brunetti begins to investigate a murder, the corpse turns out to have been a veterinarian beloved by all whose animals he treated. Why, then, did such a man work in a slaughterhouse? And what exactly was his role there? As in many of the excellent Venetian mysteries of Leon, ethics are the true subject under investigation: the ethics of the abattoir and of the consumption of meat; the ethics of decent people who, when threatened, test the waters of illegality; and the ethics of the police - always a subject for dissection in the mind of Brunetti. This may be Leon's best yet - high praise indeed.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
When the body of a man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Commissario Guido Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside his usual sphere, where they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals. Meanwhile, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, as well as in Brunetti's home. With the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello are able to identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead. Subtle and engrossing, Leon's Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.
About the Author
Donna Leon, born in New Jersey in 1942, has worked as a travel guide in Rome and as a copywriter in London. She taught literature in universities in Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia. Commissario Brunetti made her books world-famous. Donna Leon lived in Italy for many years, and although she now lives in Switzerland, she often visits Venice.