Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Death at La Fenice
I've just finished Donna Leon's book Death at La Fenice. I just keep coming across this title all over the blogs I've been reading. I really enjoyed it - I liked her writing style in particular. I loved the setting in Venice, I've never been there but I enjoyed reading about this city. This is not the type of book I generally read; I am not a big murder/mystery/suspense reader. My husband actually asked me if I was reading it for my bookclub since I pick up books like this one so infrequently.
I think this is just not my favorite genre. As much as I enjoyed the book , the parts that kept me going were all the peripheral things - the relationship between the central character and his wife, the descriptions of food and of Venice, life in Italy. The central murder story just didn't interest me that much. I found it interesting how languid the search for the murderer felt. I don't mean lazy - just that the sense of urgency that I feel when watching programs or reading murder mysteries set in the United States wasn't present. I attributed this to the Italian setting and way of life, in the way the character proceeded with his investigation, in the way he interviewed people - it just wasn't aggressive - in a good way.
I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the picture of everyday life in Venice it gave and the different culural approach to solving a crime. I don't know if I'll read more of these books in the future - there is a series - but I suspect I might given the right circumstances.