(My review on goodreads)
Too many tourists in Venice. The Italian government is corrupt and ineffectual. Billions of euros wasted on flood control gates that will never work. Cruise ships in Venice. These are the things that Leon doesn’t like this time. Not exactly the Donna Leon of twenty years ago, who aimed her guns at the mafia, at fascists, at polluters, at the military. At least we can be grateful that she doesn’t suggest that Lega Nord maybe has a point, as she did in the previous novel.
Whatever. We all get old. “Too many tourists in Venice” is just Leon’s way of saying “stay off of my lawn.”
It is pointless to reiterate the plot: like Brunetti, it wanders around somewhat aimlessly until, at the end, everything comes together rather neatly.
There is the now usual side plot involving signorina Elettra and her astonishing ability to break into every imaginable database - this time there are consequences with both legal and ethical repercussions. This is left unresolved, for some reason.
Patta (Brunetti’s boss) is acting strangely human, almost decent, in fact. Why? We don’t find out.
I don’t know. This just seems like a good workmanlike police procedural, with a few ignorable flaws. I almost feel that I should go back and reread Death at La Fenice or Acqua Alta to see if my recollection is correct; that the early novels in the series were spectacularly better than the more recent ones.