Mine is Donna Leon’s Venice
Do you know this woman?
She’s Donna Leon, a New Jersey native who has lived in Venice for the past 30 years. She writes the Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries which now stand at 24 novels.
I’m not a fan of murder mysteries, primarily because I can never figure out much as the author plants clues along the way.
But when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, I say: Time to go to Venice! I order a Donna Leon book and get lost in Guido’s daily life in Venice — his family and their apartment, what they cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How he picks up vegetables at the Rialto, or cheese on his way home. She describes the different walks Brunetti takes to the Questura. (police station). This piazza, that bridge, a certain calle. She zips us around in police motor boats and motor boat ambulances. We stop with him for his mid morning espresso or his late afternoon grappa. We hear his thoughts as Leon describes buildings, Venetians and their habits, weather, restaurants, shops and politics.
By the end of the book Guido has solved a murder and I have had a virtual vacation in Venice. This Venice porn + mystery works for me.
Donna Leon’s Venice is my happy place. This is the latest volume.
The cover might look like a bodice ripper, but it’s not. That’s a scene from the opera Tosca, which plays a part in this book. Donna Leon is an opera lover, so we get treated to backstage scenes at La Fenice.
I don’t binge on Donna Leon books, rather, I mete out my reading carefully. If I’m alone on Christmas Day because my kids are elsewhere, I take myself to Venice. If the airplane is delayed, grrr… I take myself to Venice.
Do you have a favorite author you return to time and again? If so share it with us! We’re always looking for great escapes.
P.S. I also love to read books about climbing Mt. Everest…since that is something I will never do. I don’t think.
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