Donna Leon is an ex-pat from New Jersey who has lived in Venice, Italy for the past 30 years. In her Commissario Guido Brunetti series, while leading us through the waterways of the old city, she plunges us into the slow-paced atmosphere of Venice’s culture – its beauty, food, people, and problems. By Its Cover has Brunetti looking into the theft of rare antique books and pages (illustrations and maps) cut from books in a library. An ex-priest who was a possible witness to some of the thefts turns up murdered.
I find the pace of this story interesting as Brunetti starts his investigation apparently relaxed and not too concerned and increases his tempo and concern to the point where is barely taking time out to eat or sleep before he solves the crime.
Leon’s settings are fascinating and her plot keeps you reading, but for me the best part of her writing is the characters.