by Donna Leon
Book 7 in the Commissario Brunetti series (1998)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Donna Leon has topped European bestseller lists for more than a decade with a series of mysteries featuring clever Commissario Guido Brunetti. Always ready to bend the rules to uncover the threads of a crime, Brunetti manages to maintain his integrity while maneuvering through a city rife with politics, corruption, and intrigue.
Commissario Brunetti is faced with another dark mystery. The memory of a village is long. This turns out when the decayed skeleton of a man is found in a lonely nest in the province of Belluno. In the hundred miles south of Venice, Commissario Brunetti still does not suspect that this ominous corpse will keep him busy in the coming weeks.
In a small village at the foot of the Italian Dolomites, the gardens of a deserted farmhouse have lain untouched for decades. But the new owner, keen for renovations to begin, is summoned urgently to the house when his workmen disturb a macabre grave.
Wild animals have done their grisly work and the human corpse is badly decomposed. Then a valuable signet ring is found close by, providing the first vital clue. It leads Commissario Guido Brunetti right to the heart of aristocratic Venice, to a family still grieving for its abducted son …