Donna Leon

Beastly Things

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When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can Brunetti identify the man when he can’t show pictures of his face? The autopsy shows a way forward: it turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside of his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals.At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti’s home, where conversation at family meals offer a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead. As subtle and engrossing as ever, Leon’s Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.
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283 printed pages
Original publication



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    Kathleen Groverhas quoted5 years ago
    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dear friends and companions: we are here today to say goodbye to our brother Andrea, who to many of us was far more than a friend. He was healer and helper, someone who comforted us when we were worried about our friends and who dedicated himself with love and devotion to taking care of them, and of us, for he knew that we are all children of the same God, who delights to see the love we bring to one another. He cured us all, he healed us all, and he helped us all, and in those instances when his powers could not heal our friends, it was Andrea who advised us when it was time to help our friends make their last journey, and who always stayed with us so that neither we, nor they, would be alone when they started on their way along that road. Just as he helped us bear the unhappiness of their parting from us, let us hope that our friends will help us bear the unhappiness of his parting from us.’
    Kathleen Groverhas quoted5 years ago
    He tuned back into the voice of the priest, who was now saying, ‘. . . examples of the love and wit of God, to give us these beautiful companions and enrich our lives with their love. We are enriched, as well, by the love we give to them, for to be able to love them is to be given a great gift, just as the love they have for us is a gift that comes ultimately from God, source of all love.
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