Thursday, March 24, 2011


There is one shining exception to the plethora of melancholic single male detectives that are scattered throughout crime fiction. Commissario Guido Brunetti is very happily married to the fragrant Paola.

She was more than twenty years older than when he had first met her, and yet he could see no difference. Blonde hair that had a will of its own, a nose that was perhaps too large for this era of female beauty, the cheekbones that had drawn his first kisses.

Part of Paola's appeal is not only her intelligence, beauty, and cooking ability [not necessarily in that order] but her charmingly liberal left wing views. Of course with a career as an academic, and as the daughter of Count Orazio Falier, and the wife of Commissario Brunetti [definitely in that order] she is protected from most of life's harsh financial realities.
But the politicians are making such a complete hash of the future prospects for our children that even Paola is drifting rightwards.

I was surprised to realize a few days ago that some of the things the Lega says-those same things that had me wild with anger a decade ago-they're beginning to make sense to me.

O Paola say it ain't so.

But Paola is not alone. 'It didn't matter if the people who spoke to him had voted for or against the politicians they reviled: they'd be happy to lock them all up in the local church and set it ablaze.'

Quotes from A Question of Belief the 19th Venice-based Commissario Brunetti novel by Donna Leon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - Oh, Paola Brunetti is one of my favourite characters! I like that exchange you alluded to very much, too :-). And there's another in About Face in which she and her husband have an interesting discussion about her father's business arrangements. Oh, and I really like the way she describes her husband's work as cleaning out the Augean Stables :-).

7:45 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Say it isn't so, Paola.

I've agreed with her up until now. I sensed in last year's book that something was amiss in Paola's retorts, that she was moving away from her liberal self.

Does this mean Donna Leon is, too? She does model Paola on herself, as she has said.

That would be awful. The Brunettis as one of the few happily married couples in a police detective series. And, she is a bright light amidst much of the criminal stuff that goes on.

I hope this is temporary, not a permanent shift. What is happening with Leon?

That's my question.

I still can't wait to read this one.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Kerrie said...

I have a few Donna Leon's to catch up with now Norman. Thanks for this tip

4:21 PM  

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