Read: Jan 25 - Jan 30
Format: audio, CD 8 Discs, 9.75 hours, 352 page equivalent
Source: public library
Setting: Venice, Italy
Narrator: David Colacci
Subject: FRAUD, transvestites, money laundering
Category: Cuddle up with a cozy mystery
Challenges: 101020, SYLL, 75 Book, Audio
Stars: 3½

Commissario Guido Brunetti's mysteries third installment exposes several imperfections in Brunetti's nature -- some charming, some perplexing, all fascinating.

A man's body wearing a dress and new high-heeled shoes, beaten beyond recognition, is found in an area frequented by prostitutes. What initially is thought to be a transvestite's violent death, slowly evolves into a tale of intrigue involving lawyers, fraud, money laundering and transvestism.

Guido notices that the shaving of the body doesn't appear to be expertly done which leads him to question if the victim was truly a transvestite. His own sensitivities make the Commissario question his prejudices as his investigation treads through the world of the demimonde. At the same time as Guido is struggling with his own bigotries he has to deal with his private satisfaction as his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, copes with the departure of his wife in the arms of a well-known pornographer.

Paola and the kids go off to vacation without Guido which necessitates the need for additional characters to interact with Guido so we are introduced to Signorina Elettra Zorzi, a new secretary/assistant. Supposedly the secretary to Patta, her abilities for computer hacking as well as contacts in the "outside" world bode a great future for this character.

The social observations at the end where the victim's widow states that no matter that it was proven that her husband was not a transvestite, he will always be remembered for being found dead in dress, makes the reader stop to think of what else Brunetti's future will comment on in society.

Again, a winner with Commissario Guido Brunetti.

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