cover image Earthly Remains

Earthly Remains

Donna Leon. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2647-4

Bestseller Leon’s enticing 26th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2016’s The Waters of Eternal Youth) finds the Venetian policeman at headquarters one hot July day, questioning an arrogant lawyer accused of drugging a young woman he met at a party who subsequently died. When Brunetti has a heart seizure during this contentious interview, he winds up in the hospital. Prescribed complete rest, he later takes his wife’s suggestion of staying at a villa on a sparsely inhabited island in the Venetian Lagoon. There he befriends Davide Casati, the villa’s caretaker and a keeper of bees, some of which are mysteriously dying. Then, during a fierce storm, Davide disappears. Brunetti undertakes a search that leads to the discovery of his friend’s body and boat. Was Davide’s death an accident? He had been grief stricken since his wife’s death, Brunetti learns, and recently remorseful over the demise of his beloved bees. Along the way to the poignant ending, Brunetti develops insights into nature and humankind’s failure to protect it, as well as the nature of guilt and its role in a man’s life. [em]Agent: Susanna Bauknecht, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland). (Apr.) [/em]