2.5.13

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN, THE GIRL OF HIS DREAMS, ABOUT FACE, by Donna Leon

18/series. Commissario Guido Brunetti of Venice is a delectable hero in a long (18 so far, plus a cookbook that may prove to be a must-have) series of murders, few of which begin as murders. A cop with a heart is a facile way to put it, but Brunetti is also the consummate police detective, with an eye for detail and a way with interrogations that'd have anyone blurting all their secrets. His sidekick Isspetore Vianelli, his fabulously inept boss Patta and Patta's fabulously efficient secretary Signorina Elletra, plus Brunetti's vibrant family, all will enchant you. And the subject matter - from child burglars to industrial polluters to card sharps - will keep you up-to-date with modern Italy. One of the great pleasures of discovering an established series author is the self-indulgence of a week or more - a month or even a season in Leon's case! - of solid reading. Wry humor, a richly-drawn cast of characters of all ages, meals to die for, and humans in all their inscrutable failings, all set out in witty, impeccable prose. Author Leon is right up there with Elizabeth George and Louise Perry. The entire series is a 5. Read them in order for a month-long extravaganza of total Venetian immersion. www.donnaleon.net