“The Girl of His Dreams helps me understand why Leon has such a fervent following. … Brunetti is a marvel: smart, cultured and dedicated to his work, all the more so when the pompous inept superior tries to rein him in. … Free of coincidence of obvious contrivance, The Girl of His Drams is a showcase of nuanced characterization, acute observation and seamless plotting.” Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post
The Girl of His Dreams
A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
9780143115618 • • Paperback • Apr. 2009
Donna Leon’s seventeenth novel starring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti, the “warmhearted detective [who takes] what solace he can from the beauty of his city and the homely domestic rituals that give him the strength to go on” (The New York Times Book Review).
Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries have won legions of fans for their evocative portraits of Venetian life. In her novels, homecooked food, family, renaissance art, Italian history, and local politics play as central a role as an unsolved crime. Her latest, The Girl of His Dreams, opens with a major event in Brunetti’s family, and keeps the theme of family close to the fore. When a friend of Brunetti’s brother, a priest recently returned from years of missionary work in Africa, calls on the Commissario with a request, he suspects the man has motives. A new, American-style Protestant sect has begun to meet in private homes in the city, and it’s possible the priest is merely apprehensive of the competition. But the preacher could also be fleecing his growing flock, so Brunetti and his wife, Paola, along with Inspector Vianello and his wife, go undercover.
But the investigation has to be put aside when, one cold and rainy morning, a body is found floating in a canal. It is a child, a gypsy girl. Brunetti suspects she fell off a nearby roof while fleeing an apartment she had robbed. He has to inform the distrustful parents, encamped on the mainland, and soon finds himself haunted by the crimeand the girl.
The Girl of His Dreams, like a number of Leon’s previous novels, explores the people and cultures at the margins of Italian life, in this case the tens of thousands of Romani people who exist both inside and outside of society. Thoughtprovoking, eye-opening, and profoundly moving, The Girl of His Dreams is classic Donna Leon, a spectacular, heart-wrenching addition to the series.