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310 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1997
“I raised my hand and asked if God was a spirit. And he said yes, He was. So I asked if it was right that a spirit was different from a person because it didn't have a body, wasn't material. And when he agreed, I asked how, if God was a spirit, He could be a man, if He didn't have a body or anything.” Chiara
““We buy things. We wear them or put them on our walls, or sit on them, but anyone who wants to can take them away from us. Or break them.What makes this series so special are the characters and the sense of place that is Venice.
Long after he's dead, someone else will own those stupid little boxes, and then someone after him, just as someone owned them before he did. But no one ever thinks of that: objects survive us and go on living. It's stupid to believe we own them. And it's sinful for them to be so important.”
Beside that stood, though she looked as though she had just risen from the prie-dieu in front of it, a tall woman in the habit of the order. She wore a companion cross on her broad bosom and looked at Brunetti with neither curiosity nor enthusiasm.
“Yes?” she said, speaking as though he’d interrupted her from a particularly interesting conversation with the gentleman in the loincloth.
‘And will knowing what she reads make you know who she is?’The mysteries are always good, but just as fun are these insights into a family life. Of course this idea that we can know people by knowing what they read was intriguing. Do we know people by what they read or rather by what they think about what they read or maybe some of both?
‘Can you think of a better way to tell?’
'I said I'm going to stop him, and that's what I'm going to do,' Paola repeated, enunciating every syllable, as if for the deaf.
'Good,' Brunetti said. 'I hope you do. I hope you can.'
To his vast surprise, Paola answered with a quotation from the Bible: ' "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." '
'Where'd that come from?' Burnetti asked.
'Matthew. Chapter 18, verse six ...'
'No,' Brunetti said, shaking his head from side to side. 'It's strange to hear you, of all people, quoting the Bible.'
'Even the Devil is said to have that capacity,' she answered, but smiling for the first time and, with that smile, brightening the room.
Brunetti had always tried to avoid naming the person he suspected of a crime, and he tried to do so this time, but she could read the answer in his silence.
She got to her feet. 'If you've got to be up all night, why don't you try to get some sleep now?'
' "A wife is her husband's richest treasure, a helpmeet, a steadying column. A vineyard with no hedge will be overrun; a man with no wife becomes a helpless wanderer," ' he quoted, happy to have, for once, beaten her at her best game.
She couldn't disguise her surprise, nor her delight. 'It is true, then?' she asked.
'That the Devil really can quote Scripture.'