I know I'm not the only one who has been counting down the days until the new Donna Leon book was published. A Question of Belief is the 19th in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series set in Venice; I started reading it last night and can't wait to get home from work today so I can get back to it. There is nothing better than having a new book that you really want to read!
This year, another book was released on the same day as the latest novel, a cookbook written by Donna Leon's best friend and native Venetian, Roberta Pianaro.
It's a beautiful book with recipes that I'll actually make (not too complicated, in other words). Throughout the cookbook, there are excerpts from the mystery novels - passages that focus on Brunetti's love for food and family. Many of the recipes from the novels, like Paola's famous apple cake, are featured in the book.
Each section begins with a "culinary story" by Donna Leon. My favorite so far is the story of a day she spent picking plums and tomatoes on Sant' Erasmo, Venice's garden island.
I've written before about how it's easy to buy the same Leon book twice because a few of the novels in the series were published with different titles. If you buy any of these books in Venice, you also have to be careful about the different covers (the UK and the US versions have different ones). I have to say that for this latest one, I prefer the UK cover with a strange and very skinny cat walking across Piazza San Marco~
The US cover is fine, just not as intriguing. I don't know yet if the cat is a character in the story.