Friday, 9 November 2012

Blood from a Stone - Donna Leon


Another Venetian mystery for Commissario Brunetti and Signorina Elettra to solve, this one from 2005.  Vu cumpra have become an accepted part of the scene - immigrants from Senegal, mainly, mostly illegal, flogging counterfeit Prada to the foreign tourists.  But one evening two men seem to take marked exception to one of the illicit traders.  In fact, they shoot him dead in front of a group of elderly American doctors.  It's a professional hit, silencers and all.  An awful lot of effort and expense, surely, for an illegal?

The clue is in the title, a bit too obvious for my liking.  But I love Leon's characters and style, and I especially like the way she is not so mechanical as to wrap up every loose end.  Indeed, in this one nothing is really wrapped up.  We discover the motive - in Leon's expert hands, a revelation every bit as shocking as the deus ex machina of an Agatha Christie - but are left no wiser as to who the man with the hairy hands was or even the victim.

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