BY ITS COVER, by Donna Leon

23/series (plus cookbook). Venetian police Isspetore Guido Brunetti once again follows the clues in this convoluted tale of rare books and the thieves who prey on them. When a prestigious private library realizes some of its works have been vandalized, the police investigate and find a visitor with impeccable American credentials has handled all the ancient, priceless volumes. Pages have been cut out, and some full volumes are missing.  The American scholar, of course, has forged documents. Click below for more...
Brunetti must deal with his philistine superior Patta, whose lack of interest in all things police is disturbing. What Brunetti finds more disturbing, but very useful, is the ease with which Patta's beautiful secretary Signora Elletra, can hack into any electronic file he wants, both private and federale. The staff at the library is helpful and it appears that one constant visitor must be contacted. But Brunetti can't find him. As always, Brunetti's life outside the police department is a great part of the book, and the home scenes are as enchanting as the murder scene is disturbing. As almost always, a 5. This book I found to have great overtones of sadness that many of her books do not have. Perhaps its the repeated references to the endemic corruption in Italy, one of my favorite countries.

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