Donna Leon’s Beastly Things: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

Written by on August 21, 2012 in Mystery Book of the Month with 1 Comment

Set in Venice, Italy, the Commissario Guido Brunetti series takes us on tours of the city. Not just the tourist part, but the seedy back ends that bring in the murders and the victims. In Beastly Things, Leon’s 21st and latest in the series, Brunetti investigates the murder of a disfigured man found in one of Venice’s famous canals.

As usual, Leon’s characters are well developed, leaving us believing fully that they are real human beings. Also, as usual, she takes us on a wonderful tour of the whole of Venice, some of the nearby towns and a lovely peak into her main character’s family life.

Leon has never shied away from dealing with social issues in her plots and Beastly Things is no different. This time it’s animal rights and a disgusting experience in a slaughterhouse. Animal rights is an issue Brunetti faces at home with his 2 social conscience teenagers. Part of that charming peak into his home life.

Just a warning here: I read a review that said to skip the chapter on the slaughterhouse, which I didn’t pay attention to. I read it and wished I hadn’t. It really is disgusting, but it’s also part of Leon wanting to inform her readers. The horrors of a slaughterhouse are not just limited to Venice and I think Leon was right to put it into the book, but you may want to skip Chapter 19.

Otherwise Beastly Things is another well-written who-done-it with plenty of clues to be pieced together. For me, a thoroughly satisfying mystery.

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Be sure to check out more Mystery of the Month reviews like Murder Most Maine.


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About the Author

About the Author: Avid reader of all in the mystery genre for more than 30 years. Over the past several years, I have been part of the review team for pre-release mystery fiction. My experience includes review and evaluation of mystery genre manuscripts for new authors. Clearly, mysteries are my passion when it comes to novel reading. .


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  1. Sarah says:

    “Donna Leon’s Beastly Things: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery” ended up being a fantastic read and thus I personally was in fact pretty joyful to discover the blog. Thank you-Eddy

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