Commissario Guido Brunetti is called to Venice's La Fenice, the city's premiere opera house, when the infamous maestro Helmut Wallhauer is found dead in his dressing room after intermission. Brunetti must quickly solve this case as the victim's high profile creates added pressure on city officials to provide answers. Brunetti is introduced in this first book of the series and he is an interesting study. His investigation style probably conforms with that of his city's culture, more of a laid back, meandering approach to getting answers without a clearly defined plan. After having read so many murder and mayhem books of late, I found Guido Brunetti to be refreshing once I settled back, relaxed and convinced myself that there weren't going to be any serial killers here (for now). Brunetti's family is also quite interesting in their normalcy as well as with their individuality. His way of handling the incompetents around him was also an interesting study. Brunetti isn't perfect and that was evident in this story. I learned just enough about him to want more. The realm of suspects wasn't that large so it allowed me to delve into those characters as Brunetti uncovered information. It was more of a challenge keeping up with those who provided the flavor. Overall, I found the combination of an interesting character, the Italian setting and culture and a puzzling death made for a very pleasant reading experience. I will definitely be continuing this series.