About Face (2009) is one of the Commissario Guido Brunetti books by Donna Leon. I've read Dressed for Death (the 3rd in the series) and enjoyed it. This one is #18 (of 24 so far). I pick these up as I find them and am not reading them in order. I'm glad there are so many of them. I can look out over many happy reads in my future.
from the back of the book:
As the son-in-law of the Conte and Contessa Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti is accustomed to mingling with Italy's rich and powerful. But never has one of their friends captivated him like Franca Marinello, the infamous La Superlitata, whose once-beautiful face has been disfigured by excessive plastic surgery. [ed: the disfigurement wasn't caused by elective surgery, but that is the common gossip.] Soon after meeting her at a dinner party -where he is charmed by her love of Virgil and Cicero- Franca visits him at the Questura with a request that sounds eerily connected to his current murder investigation.The Independent closes with this:
The details of home-cooked meals and family arguments, alongside a never-ending flow of crime, add a depth to Leon's stories and are what makes her characters so believable and, in turn, her books so readable.Italian Mysteries says it's "as subtle, gripping and topical as ever, bringing the sights, sounds and smells of Venice flooding to life." Eurocrime calls it "a perfect miniature of a book with a social sting in its tail; an elegy for the lost (?) traditional Italian way of life; and, almost by the way, a detective story." Kirkus Reviews has a positive review.