December 5, 2014

My first favorite Guido

Because this was Venice, the police came by boat, blue light flashing on the forward cabin. They pulled up at the side of the small canal behind the theatre, and four men got out, three in blue uniform and one in civilian clothes. Quickly they walked up the calle, or narrow street, alongside the theatre and continued through the stage entrance, where the portiere, who had been warned of their arrival, pushed the button that released the turnstile and allowed them to walk freely into the backstage area. He pointed silently to a staircase.
      At the top of the first flight of steps, they were met by the still-stunned director. He started to extend his hand to the civilian, who seemed to be in charge, but forgot about the gesture and wheeled around, saying over his shoulder, 'This way.' Advancing down a short corridor, he stopped at the door to the conductor's dressing room. There he stopped and, reduced to gestures, pointed inside.
      Guido Brunetti, a commissario of police for the city, was the first through the door. When he saw the body in the chair, he held up his hand signalled the uniformed officers not to come any further into the room. The man was clearly dead ...
      Brunetti turned his eyes away and glanced around the room, He saw the cup lying on the floor, the saucer not far from it. That explained the dark stains on the shirt and, Brunetti was sure, the horribly twisted features.
      Still only a short distance into the room, Brunetti remained still and let his eyes roam, taking note of what he saw, uncertain about what any of it might come to mean, curious. He was a surprisingly neat man:  tie carefully knotted, hair shorter than was the fashion; even his ears lay close to his head, as if reluctant to call attention to themselves. His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced that he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman.
Courtesy of Grove Atlantic and NetGalley, I had Donna Leon's forthcoming new mystery, Falling in Love, on my Kindle, ready to be my next reading treat. But then the publisher's note told me that the new book has a connection with Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon's first Guido Brunetti novel, and I realized that I had only fallen for this series sometime later in its life.  So this morning on the bus, after a week with another wonderful Guido, I met Brunetti for the first time.

I'm lucky that, on the way to work at least, I get off at the last stop.  Otherwise, with books like these, I might still be riding the loop between Cambridge and Boston. {That almost happened, once, on the way home.}

I hope your day has a moment like this, however it comes about for you. :)


Frances said...

Something exciting that had not been anticipated. Such a great small moment! Happy reading!

JoAnn said...

You know how bad I am with series, but Death at La Fenice is actually on my kindle (picked it up as a kindle daily deal over a year ago). Maybe I should join the TBR Dare again this year after all...