Earthly Remains

Earthly Remains

Book - 2017 | First Grove Atlantic edition.
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Donna Leon's bestselling mystery novels set in Venice have won a multitude of fans for their insider's portrayal of La Serenissima. From family meals to coffee bars, and from vaporetti rides to the homes and apartments of Venetians, the details and rhythms of everyday life are an integral part of this beloved series. But so are the suffocating corruption, the never-ending influx of tourists, and crimes big and small. Through it all, Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti has been an enduring figure. A good man who loves his family and his city, Brunetti is relentless in his pursuit of truth and some measure of justice.

In Earthly Remains , the twenty-sixth novel in this series, Brunetti's endurance is tested more than ever before. During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break, needs to get away from the stifling problems of his work.

When Brunetti is granted leave from the Questura, his wife, Paola, suggests he stay at the villa of a relative on Sant'Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna . There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny's Natural History . The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house on Sant'Erasmo, goes missing following a sudden storm. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to the man who had become his friend.

Earthly Remains is quintessential Donna Leon, a powerful addition to this celebrated series.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017.
Edition: First Grove Atlantic edition.
ISBN: 9780802126474
Branch Call Number: FIC Leon
Characteristics: 308 pages : map ; 24 cm.


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Jan 02, 2019

Always a good read with Donna Leon. Commissario takes a work break art a quiet villa location, meets the pleasant caretaker who is later on found drowned.

ArapahoeJillA Sep 14, 2018

Donna Leon takes Commissario Guido Brunetti out of Venice for this book and it's a definite hit indeed.

May 16, 2018

"Earthly Remains" is about relationships with a mystery wrapped around it. Unlike other authors, Donna Leon focuses more on commentary about Italian culture, Venice, Italian family values, food and beauty than on solving the puzzle. I would rate "Earthly Remains" at 3.50 stars.

Jan 11, 2018

Earthly remains was my favorite Donna Leon mystery to date. It was infinitely clever, takes place outside of Venice at least to start, and of course well written. I couldn't put it down!

Dec 13, 2017

This is the second Brunetti mystery I've read, and while they are separated by two decades, the theme is the same: it doesn't matter if Brunetti discovers the dirty truth at the rotten core of Venetian society, he can't use it to further justice when old money and political power are standing in his way. While it's dark and on some levels unsatisfying, it's more true to life and explains how Leon can maintain a hero for as long as she has. But here's hoping Brunetti decides he's had enough before Leon does and blows up the center of Venice on his way out.

Oct 30, 2017

This is an unusual Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. Brunetti fakes a heart attack to prevent Pucetti attacking a man during an interrogation. The result of this rash act is a medical leave of absence. Brunetti stays in the Sant'Erasmo villa of a wealthy relative of his wife, Paola. This (real) island is located in the Venetian Lagoon. Brunetti meets an old rowing friend of his father, Davide Casati, and spends much time exploring the laguna with this troubled man. When Casati goes missing, Brunetti investigates.
Although this story was slow, it was rich in detail. I enjoyed the relationships, the atmosphere, and the underlying message. Great read!

Aug 31, 2017

I enjoyed this book very much. Most of the first half of the book is spent rowing on the laguna in hot July weather (great for summer reading, or winter reading when one wishes to be reminded of summer). The death was not unexpected, the search for the truth was interesting, and the final "reveal" made for as good an ending as one could hope for in the mystery book.

Aug 28, 2017

There is no question that Donna Leon is one of the better crime writers going but this latest offering is not up to her standards. It is interesting enough but there is a feel that it has been "churned" out. Lots of loose ends and unfinished trails. To me, it is a book written to generate income with not her usual concise analysis and gradations. I truly hope her next offering will be up to her usual standards.

I think Cammilleri or Dibden would be a better offer for people exploring Italian policing, although Leons' references to Venice are always a treat.

Aug 08, 2017

Brunetti hasn't realized how burned out he and his coworker are until he over-reacts to protect his subordinate from the power of a suspect being interviewed in the drugging death of a young girl. Brunetti ends up in the ER, where the doctor realizes he's not ill, but that his blood pressure's dangerously high from stress. She recommends a few weeks away on his own. Paola suggests he stay at an island villa of her aunt. He discovers much in common with the caretaker, Casati, who had been his late father's only friend. Every day, the two men go rowing. Then one morning, after a terrible storm, Casati's missing. Brunetti joins the search, and is the one to find him, drowned, under his capsized boat. He automatically takes pictures before police pull the body out of the water. Brunetti and his colleague Claudia interview two old work colleagues of Casati's, all 3 of whom were injured in a work accident decades before, to find out more about Casati and what happened in that accident. They don't get very far in solving the mystery, until Casati's son-in-law looks at the photos Brunetti took. A very frightening story with a surprisingly satisfying ending.

Jul 19, 2017

Leon's books usually have a social theme and this one is no different--illegal toxic waste dumping. Brunetti's blood pressure is high, so he's on medical leave and goes to a small island near Venice to relax and recuperate. The grounds keeper was a friend of his father's but mysteriously disappears after a couple of weeks.

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