Sunday, March 17, 2013

Donna Leon Mystery On A Lazy Sunday

Lazy, indeed. At 2:00 p.m. and I had little energy or interest in heading out to the studio to wrestle with those Terlingua collages or to resume scanning a series of old 1980s bl/wh negatives on loan from a friend with whom I took photographs back in the darkroom days.
Instead, I took to my bed with the Sunday NYT and then read 'Death At La Fenice' by Donna Leon, a mystery author who has written 21 books about Guido Brunetti, her Venetian vice-commissario of police and detective genius.  ES ordered me a dozen of Leon's Brunnetti mystery novels from Abe Books and they arrived in a plain brown envelope several days ago. ES discovered Donna Leon's books several years ago in the Lone Star College Library and since the real subject of these books is Venice, he was intrigued.  I am too, after reading 'Death At La Fenice' and I have an entire stack at my disposal.
Donna Leon is my age, was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years. An English teacher, she began to write the first of twenty-one mysteries. I've checked out her website and hope you will too. There is a link to an interview with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli and articles from The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
After perusing Leon's website, I see that she also has wonderful long time women friends whom she mentions in interviews about her own work. She collaborated on 'Brunetti's Cookbook' with Roberta Pianaro and introduced 'Brunetti's Venice, Walks with the City's Best-Loved Detective' by Toni Sepeda.
About 6:45 this evening, with two more chapters to read, I figured out the end plot of 'Death At La Fenice.' It's not pretty, but Brunetti does exactly the right thing.  Brunetti must have a strong feminine side. As I read the conclusion, I was reminded of Carol Gilligan's 1982 'In A Different Voice' -  a book on gender studies that discusses, among other things, the idea that little boys play by the rules and little girls can ignore rules to look at context before making moral decisions. Read both and see if you agree.
It's 9:00 now. We had salmon for supper and I am ready to open the pages of another Venetian mystery book. Maybe on Monday, I'll head back to the studio nd tackle those collages?

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