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Wilful Behaviour (2002)

by Donna Leon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Commissario Brunetti (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1793212,456 (3.65)63
When one of his wife's Paola's students comes to visit him, with a strange and vague interest in investigating the possibility of a pardon for a crime committed by her grandfather many years ago, Commissario Brunetti thinks little of it. But when the girl is found dead, clearly stabbed to death, Claudia Leonardo suddenly becomes Brunetti's case, no longer Paola's student. Claudia seems to have no discernible living family - her only familial relationship is with an elderly Austrian woman, who was the lover of her grandfather, but was not herself Claudia's grandmother. Brunetti is both intrigued and stunned by the extraordinary art collection the old woman keeps in her small, unprepossessing flat, and when she in turn is found dead, the case seems to have be about to open up long buried secrets of collaboration and the exploitation of Italian Jews during the war, secrets few in Italy are happy to explore.… (more)
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» See also 63 mentions

English (24)  Spanish (4)  German (3)  Catalan (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
A bright beautiful young women is murdered and the motive at first seems to be the found in art work owned by the woman she calls grandmother. The art was plundered by the woman's lover during the war. There are many twists in Brunetti's investigation.
There are some formulaic elements in the story: Paola's involvement; Eletra's involvement; computer sleuthing - but in the end the characters come alive making the read a pleasure. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Dec 6, 2020 |
One of Paola's university students asks her a legal question seeking the advice of Paola's husband Commissario Guido Brunetti, a former law student. The question involves a man who died while serving a sentence in a mental institution for a conviction during the World War II years. While Brunetti doubts a modern trial would produce a different result, when the girl turns up dead, he knows her questions probably resulted in her murder. They mystery involves art in a private collection and a somewhat hidden library where the girl volunteered. I enjoyed this mystery, but I did not enjoy the narrator as much as I enjoyed the usual narrator for the series. Crossley mispronounced names and other proper nouns, and I really didn't like his voice for Guido which made him seem less authoritative. ( )
  thornton37814 | Aug 25, 2019 |
When one of the brightest of Paola’s students asks her a legal question she can’t answer, Paola agrees to ask her husband, Commissario Brunetti. The girl’s question has to do with the reputation of her grandfather, who was convicted for criminal behavior during World War II but died before serving his sentence. Brunetti isn’t able to give her an answer she wants to hear. Brunetti thinks no more about it, until the girl is found dead in her apartment from what was quite clearly murder.

I enjoyed this one a bit more than some of the other installments in the series because of Paola’s contribution. She knew the murder victim and her insights were helpful to her husband as he tried to make sense of the case. I’m also fond of mysteries that involve art or libraries, and this one had both. I wasn’t as fond of the new narrator for the audio version. He mispronounced Chiara’s name throughout the book. It looks like this might have been a one-off for this narrator. Maybe the regular narrator couldn’t fit this one into his schedule. ( )
  cbl_tn | Aug 12, 2019 |
One of Leon's better ones, I think, in which a young student of Paola's is killed after inquiring about clearing her grandfather's record from after WWII. People are indeed wilful in this story: an old lady who can't help loving a truly despicable follower of Mussolini, that same despicable fellow's penchant for collecting art to the loss of those attempting to escape Italy during the war, a notario whose whole family is obsessed with greed - and so forth. The only thought I had aside from enjoyment of this very satisfying mystery is that Brunetti wouldn't have been able to solve any of this without the extraordinary clandestine skills and connections of Signorina Ekatterin ( )
  ffortsa | Apr 10, 2019 |
The eleventh book in the series, Willful Behavior is good mystery although I didn't like the ending. Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates the murder of a young woman. The trail to the murderer backtracks through family history and illegal behavior during WWII. ( )
  clue | Feb 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leon, DonnaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brzezińska, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Desmond, William-OlivierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franci-Ekeler, ElsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuente, Ana María de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hōjō, MotokoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sætvedt, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seibicke, Christa E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Straka, Tone VrhovnikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwart, JannekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I dubbi, I sospetti
Gelare mefan.

Doubts and suspicions
Turn me to ice.

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
Dedication
for Daniel Hungerbühler
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The explosion came at breakfast.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When one of his wife's Paola's students comes to visit him, with a strange and vague interest in investigating the possibility of a pardon for a crime committed by her grandfather many years ago, Commissario Brunetti thinks little of it. But when the girl is found dead, clearly stabbed to death, Claudia Leonardo suddenly becomes Brunetti's case, no longer Paola's student. Claudia seems to have no discernible living family - her only familial relationship is with an elderly Austrian woman, who was the lover of her grandfather, but was not herself Claudia's grandmother. Brunetti is both intrigued and stunned by the extraordinary art collection the old woman keeps in her small, unprepossessing flat, and when she in turn is found dead, the case seems to have be about to open up long buried secrets of collaboration and the exploitation of Italian Jews during the war, secrets few in Italy are happy to explore.

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When one of his wife's Paola's students comes to visit him, with a strange and vague interest in investigating the possibility of a pardon for a crime committed by her grandfather many years ago, Commissario Brunetti thinks little of it. But when the girl is found dead, clearly stabbed to death, Claudia Leonardo suddenly becomes Brunetti's case, no longer Paola's student. Claudia seems to have no discernible living family - her only familial relationship is with an elderly Austrian woman, who was the lover of her grandfather, but was not herself Claudia's grandmother. Brunetti is both intrigued and stunned by the extraordinary art collection the old woman keeps in her small, unprepossessing flat, and when she in turn is found dead, the case seems to have be about to open up long buried secrets of collaboration and the exploitation of Italian Jews during the war, secrets few in Italy are happy to explore.
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