This time it is August in Venice, blazingly hot, and Brunetti is looking forward to two weeks in the mountains with his family. He has taken on two off the books investigations: a judge who seems to have a pattern of delaying civil trials to the benefit of one of the parties, and a charlatan who is taking large sums of money from elderly ladies. Putting those informal investigations on hold, Brunetti is on the train with his family when he is called back to Venice to investigate a murder: a court clerk who was possibly implicated in the corrupt judge investigation.
As always in the Brunetti series there is both more and less to the story than appears at first sight, and there is great sadness in the lives and deaths of the victims, and tragedy in the absence of justice for those who commit crimes amid the pervasive corruption of modern Italy.
In all, this is an excellent addition to the Brunetti series.