Heinemann £14.99 (276pp) £13.49 (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
A Taste of Venice: At Table with Brunetti, By Donna Leon
Friday 02 April 2010
Consumption plays a prominent part in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti novels. This is fair enough since the detective's beat takes him down the mean canals of Venice, where culinary temptations (with recipes by Roberta Pianaro) are somewhat more frequent than in Marlowe's LA.
Nibbles from the novels reveal that stewed rabbit makes an appearance in Wilful Behaviour, while the Venetian classic risi e bisi plays a bit part in Friends in High Places.
Explaining the importance of food in Venice, Leon draws a parallel between the old ladies in the Rialto market and the military strategist, Clausewitz: "Whether they are doing battle in front of the salami or cheese, this desire to defend their honour will not leave them."
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