Brunetti's bow introduces Patta, Brunetti's self important boss, Brunetti's family (Paola, Chiara and Raffaele, his father in law), his journalist friend, Michele and the coroner Rizzardi. Leon sets up the universe, softly, almost domestically, in little scenes in between the whodunnit plot line. The plot line is tight and solid. A maestro is found dead by cyanure in between acts of the opera he is conducting. Leon succeeded in writing a clever procedural mystery without getting caught in the details. She chooses instead to show the different suspects and ultimately of course nothing is what is always seems. Leon also has a underlining trend of putting LGBT characters in her novels where she confronts head on the prejudices, the lifestyles of her characters. Yes, Brunetti is just this side of being almost too perfect but for once we don't get the cliché bad guys.