Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Acqua Alta by Donna Leon

Acqua Alta is the 5th Commissario Guido Brunetti detective novel by Donna Leon. I'm reading these books as I can, filling in with ones I've missed as I get them. This one was a Christmas present. I enjoy the Venetian setting, the delightful characters and the plots that incorporate elements of the society/food/culture of Venice.

from the back of the book:
As Venice braces for the onslaught of a winter tempest and acqua alta -the rising waters from exceptionally high tides- Commissario Guido Brunetti is pulled from his warm bed to find that an old friend, Dotoressa Brett Lynch, has been savagely beaten in the palazzo home she shares with Flavia Petrelli, the reigning diva of La Scala. Brunetti suspects that this is not a simple crime, and then, as the flood waters rise, a corpse is discovered. Acqua Alta, sinister annd exotic, is "every fan's first pick Brunetti novel" (The New Yorker).
I offer these quotes as my connection to the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering (at which you are most welcome -just share a post with a drink reference):
Because it was after two when Brunetti got home that night, he slept until well past eight the next morning and woke only, and grudgingly, when Paola shook him lightly by the shoulder and told him coffee was beside him. He managed to fight off full consciousness for another few minutes, but then he smelled the coffee, gave up and seized the day.
Everywhere, he saw the same things he'd been seeing for days, but today he chose to call them signs of spring. Even the omnipresent pastel tourists lifted his heart. Via XXII Marzo pulled his steps down towards the Accademia Bridge. On the other side of it, he saw the season's first long line of tourists waiting to enter the museum, but he had seen enough of art for a while. The water drew him now and the thought of sitting in the young sun with Flavia, having a coffee, talking of this and that, seeing the way her face went so quickly from ease to joy and back again.

Publishers Weekly concludes, "Intricate and intimate descriptions of Venetian life fill these pages and prove that Leon has once again created a high-stakes mystery in which the setting vibrates with as much life as the story itself." Kirkus Reviews calls it "routine" for the series.  Grove Atlantic has a plot description, quotes from reviews, a short excerpt, and a reading group guide.

I've read the following from this series:
#1 Death at La Fenice (1992)
#2 Death in a Strange Country (1993)
#3 Dressed for Death (1994)
#4 Death and Judgment (1995)
#13 Doctored Evidence (2004)
#18 About Face (2009)
#19 A Question of Belief
Drawing Conclusions
#22 The Golden Egg

When that Great Winter Storm moved through over the week-end and folks were sharing their snow wonderland photos it snowed here in Memphis, too! Yes, indeed, we saw a few flakes and got accumulations of up to, oh, I don't know... what do you think?

Not measurable, but visible, barely. By Sunday morning all that was left was a bit on the garage roof:

We enjoyed it while it lasted. You have to find joy where you can, after all.

On Sunday night we had the Full Blood Wolf Moon total eclipse, and although all I have is a cell phone I tried to take a few photos:

It was stunning in person, and we could even see stars. We were excited to have clear skies for the event.


  1. So glad you got a little snow and wow the blood moon is awesome-I didn't get to see it but watched a few videos online pretty amazing I often wonder way back when what did the Native Americans think about this one.

  2. Glad your snow is almost gone, it's snowing here just now. I didn't get to see the blood moon! I love Donna Leon, the books and the TV films. Happy T day, Valerie

  3. Sounds like another fabulous book from the series and I love the quotes that you found for us this T Day! The dusting of snow seems unusual for Memphis? We have had some snow showers the last couple of days but not enough settle 😀. Your photos of the blood moon are fabulous, I bet you were so excited to get clear skies! Wishing you a Happy T Tuesday! J 😊 x

    1. Careful, you'll get me started on "When I was a child we got real snow!" lol But it does seem like we get less snow -_much_ less snow- than we used to. I remember when we could hope to get several inches at least once a year. Now, no, we get a dusting or maybe a ground covering if we're lucky. Anything of any substance seems to be ice. I could go on and on ... ;)

  4. I love Venice so even though this is fiction I may venture a read:) Happy for you that you got a bit of snow- I'm always happy to send you ours too;)I did manage to see the blood moon too-so cool!Happy T day!

  5. What a fun post, D. You got great photos of the super wolf blood moon though I'm sure is was more impressive in person. Like Kathy I wonder what ancient people thought of eclipse. It must be very startling, to say the least, if you don't understand what's happening.

    Happy T-day! Eileen xox

  6. I love Commissario Brunetti, the books and the films - Donna Leon is a genius!
    YOu can be happy to have no more snow - here we are blessed with amounts of snow since longer now. And it don't melt because it's so freezingly cold. But that's o.k. for winter in northern Austria.
    You got great photos of the moon with your cell phone!
    Happy T-Day!
    Hugs Susi

  7. I haven't heard of this series of books. Enjoyed the coffee quotes. Love the smell of coffee, but not the taste. You got a dusting of snow. I wish ours would disappear as rapidly. I wouldn't whine so much. Great shot of the moon. I went out to look but was too early for the eclipse, and it was too cold to stand out there gazing. Happy T Day

  8. Anonymous2:53 PM

    I like all the photos, but especially the eclipse pix. I tried but I was not steady enough with my own camera phone.
    --A Pal

  9. Sounds like a great book. I love Italian detectives. I looked for it but apparently it is not yet out on Kindle (my e-book).
    Wow, you had a dusting of snow! I'm sure you are thankful it is only a little bit. Many people are having huge problems.
    Great that you were able to see the eclipse. Our weather was clear skies, but in my neck of the woods (southern Spain) the eclipse was at some unearthly hour (5 a.m. I think) and it was so cold (I would only be able to see it from the terrace, not from the window) that no way was I getting out of bed!
    Happy T-Day,

  10. I need to read these books. You've mentioned them before and they are on my wish list but I have yet to read one. This sounds good and is a nice Christmas gift. And your snow photos make me smile...and make me jealous too. That is my kind of snow fall. :) You got a couple of good eclipse photos too. It was gorgeous hear but so cold outside, and I needed to put my head out the door to see it so my photos came out horrible. Happy belated T day-I am running a bit late. Hugs-Erika

  11. My sincere apologies for not visiting sooner, but my electricity went out about 4ish this morning. It is finally back on and I keep getting interrupted while trying to play catch-up.

    You always come up with something unusual for T each Tuesday, and this latest Brunetti mystery is one to put on my look for list.

    I had to laugh at your snow. Seems the word "trace" would cover it nicely. I can't believe you keep your chiminea out all year long Mine would crack and break if I didn't bring it in (to the garage) each winter. Is that rosemary or lavender growing so well? Both mine are doing poorly inside this winter.

    Your moon shots were great. Between the fog and the overcast sky, I had no way of seeing the eclipse. I'll maybe see it in 2022, though.

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting T post this Tuesday, dear.

    1. I'm glad your electricity is back! It's hard doing without that.

      Yes, that's lavender. Isn't it amazing! It took me trying 3 different kinds before I found one that would live through the year, and I've even had good luck rooting cuttings. I've planted those behind this one and given some away.

      I usually cover the chiminea in the winter, and I really should still do that, but the wrens and the chipmunks have such fun with it...

  12. Your book sounds really interesting, my list of books to find is getting longer.The photos of the moon looked great, it was to cloudy here.
    Sorry I am late calling in, I hope you have a good day.
    Yvonne xx

  13. It was a spectacular full moon. I've tried a few of these books, it reminds me to request a few more. Like you I like the day to day life descriptions & oh the food .... the food, I need lunch now.

  14. We were having a snow storm during the eclipse so I couldn't have seen it even if I had known about it--LOL!

    I'd love to read or listen to more of her books. So many books, so little time. ;)

  15. That looks about what we had...maybe a few flakes more! We went about 20 miles west today - they had nothing at all, my son, 20 miles north had about 2 inches! That series looks interesting - i am going to look them up!! Belated Happy T day! Chrisx

  16. Great photos of the moon, my phone camera wasn't up to the job at all! You got about as much snow as we did!

  17. Awesome eclipse photos! Thanks for sharing this T Day post.