The peace of a Venice library is shattered by the murder of a patron in the New York Times–bestselling series starring "a superb police detective" (Library Journal).
A Seattle Times Best Mystery and Crime Novel of the Year
One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after they check his credentials, it seems the American professor doesn't exist.
As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian who'd spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent or guilty.
"Leon offers a finely drawn tale that encompasses theft, blackmail, emotional violence, and murder, as well as a rich array of characters [and] compellingly combines their workaday crime-solving with a detailed picture of a vanishing Venice." —The Boston Globe
"Above all, Brunetti is a careful reader, of people, of places, of situations, and he never stops at surface meanings. That's why we bookish types adore him the way we do, and why this will likely be one of his most-loved adventures." —Booklist, starred review