Third in the Commissario Guido Brunetti Italian police procedural series. When a man dressed in women's clothing is found in an area frequented by prostitutes in a smaller city near Venice, Guido is sent to investigate due to a staffing shortage in that district. With his vacation just on the horizon, Guido ends up having to send Paola and the children off to the mountains without him, while he slogs away in the oppressive heat and humidity of a Venice summer hunting for clues. As usual, some influential people end up mixed up in the mess that becomes the investigation and Guido has to tread on a few toes along the path to the solution. I really enjoy everything about this series--the author's writing style, the atmosphere she paints, and her characters, too. Excellent!
Donna Leons stories take readers to contemporary Italy, with its own measure of corruption, bureaucratic red tape and violent crime. It is nice to see that other countries have problems too. The story is told through the prism of the appalling heat of a Venetian summer.
It is so hot that Venetians are packing up in droves to head to more moderate climes. Although it is time for the Brunetti familys vacation, Guido must watch them leave without him because he has been assigned a transvestite murder that takes place in neighboring Mestre.
Vice-Questura Patta has become so busy that he has found enough money in the budget to get a secretary; Leon introduces a new secondary character, Signorina Eletra. In turn, Signorina Electra has found enough money in the budget to order flowers twice/week from the most expensive florist in town.
While Patta worries over his errant wife, who has run off with a director of pornographic works, Brunetti must find the murderer of someone who appears to be a transvestite, but actually shoulders an important role in a local bank.
I miss the usual banter between the 4 members of the Brunetti family but the family spends most of the book out of the city. Because of Brunettis hard police work, a simple murder unravels a complex plot involving millions of lira.
Guido Brunetti Series
1. Death at La Fenice (1992)
2. Death in a Strange Country (1993)
3. The Anonymous Venetian (1994) aka Dressed for Death