Once again, Leon transforms what might have been a straightforward mystery into something much richer and more resonant—in this case, a meditation on love, loss, family, and prejudice ... Many crime novels place domestic story lines alongside crime plots, but Leon masterfully blends the two, enhancing our understanding of both. It is in Brunetti’s conversations with his wife and children, and in his musings on his reading that we come to feel the full force of how preconceived notions about gender and sexuality can erode even the seemingly strongest of relationships. Far more than whodunit, the real subject of this novel (and Leon’s work in general) is what we all do to one another.
Leon is a multifaceted, effortlessly assured writer. Her plots are innovative and layered, her characters have developed and matured over the course of a lengthy series, and her prose is imbued with wit and compassion on virtually every page. If you are a fan of Louise Penny (and who isn’t?), Leon should be on your short list.
A new Donna Leon mystery featuring that quintessential Venetian cop with an unnerving eye for evidence, Commissario Guido Brunetti, is always a treat. Unto Us a Son Is Given is no exception ... Brunetti’s interaction with his consistently fascinating wife and his rapidly maturing children, contributes much to the pleasure of reading Leon ... And as always, Leon portrays Venice, one of the most intriguing cities on earth, with an added dimension all her own.
Leon gives her readers a murder, a mystery or three, and a great deal of other wonderful things in this 28th installment, which is arguably her best to date ... Even at this late date, Leon remains amazing. With each installment of the series, she continues to find and reveal new layers to her familiar characters and to Venice, which is full of quiet and enjoyable surprises of the cultural, geographical and architectural variety. You can start with any volume, but if you begin with Unto Us a Son is Given, you’ll want to devote time to reading the backlist. You won’t be able to help yourself.
As usual the mystery takes a back seat to Leon's beautiful writing and the pleasure of spending time with Brunetti and company ... Leon says Venetians are 'accustomed to swimming in the swirling froth of information and misinformation that flowed through so much of daily life,' and readers can trust her to guide them safely to dry land.
Italy’s inheritance laws figure prominently in bestseller Leon’s sobering 28th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery ... Leon provides a sad reflection on the devastating impact of selfish desires on innumerable lives.