"Leon . . . is so generous with the humanizing details that make this series special. There are long walks in Brunetti's warm company and lively talks with his clever wife and even more engaging father-in-law, who can see the appetites of a modern consumer reflected in a 17th-century portrait. As detective work goes, it's a tiny masterpiece of analysis."--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Donna Leon's eighteen novels have won her countless fans, heaps of critical acclaim, and a place among the top ranks of international crime writers. Through the warm-hearted, perceptive, and principled Commissario Guido Brunetti, Leon's best-selling books have explored Venice in all its aspects: history and tourism, high culture and the changing seasons, food and family, but also violent crime and political corruption.
In About Face, her latest mystery, Leon returns to one of her signature subjects: the environment, which has reached a crisis in Italy in recent years. Incinerators across the south of Italy are at full capacity, burning who-knows-what and releasing unacceptable levels of dangerous air pollutants, while in Naples, enormous garbage piles grow in the streets. In Venice, with the polluted waters of the canals and a major chemical complex across the lagoon, the issue is never far from the fore.
Environmental concerns become significant in Brunetti's work when an investigator from the Carabiniere, looking into the illegal hauling of garbage, asks for a favor. But the investigator is not the only one with a special request. His father-in-law needs help and a mysterious woman comes into the picture. Brunetti soon finds himself in the middle of an investigation into murder and corruption more dangerous than anything he's seen before.