By Its Cover is the much anticipated twenty-third instalment in Donna Leon's bestselling crime series, where Commissario Brunetti is better than ever as he addresses questions of worth and value alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra.
When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn’t quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library’s regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library's chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone.
However, when Franchini is found murdered in his home, the case takes a more sinister turn and soon Brunetti finds himself submerged in the dark secrets of the black market of antiquarian books. Alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra, he delves into the pages of Franchini’s past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.
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Beautifully Crafted Work
Unfortunately I have not read the print version. This will very soon be rectified when my post arrives.
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel is a book I have long enjoyed for its beautiful use of language to convey the reader to a place of enchantment, in this case his library. Donna's book is likewise beautifully crafted and her descriptions of Venice and the characters captivating. This is authorship of the highest calibre.
Davids voice and the cadence with which he reads the story makes this reading of By Its Cover a delight to listen to. Consequently I have sought out other performances of the reader.
Brunetti, the main character is believable and well positioned as the central character of the story. Everything is logical and well presented and one cannot help but respect the thought that has gone into creating his character.
I am now a devotee of Donna Leon's work. One day I may be fortunate enough to have a signed copy of her work to be proudly displayed in my library. Such is the esteem in which I hold this author's work. I would recommend this book to all readers who seek a quality read.