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It was a wonderful stroke of serendipity to attend the Junior College’s “Day Under the Oaks” the first week into my new job. It is the biggest event of the year for the college, and the day in which every program and different groups of students get to present their progress, goals, and projects. I especially enjoyed the Native American dancing and drumming, and am almost 90% sure now that my detective will have a sudden identity change from Scandinavian to Native American. What I especially like about this is 1) the research that will be required, 2) the way it will further highlight and honor the setting, and 3) the interesting stories it may allow for in future books. My goal is that different books in the series are told from different characters’ points of view.

Meanwhile, our Friday night opera has had both me and my husband pining for Venice. Verdi’s I Due Foscari is based on a historical play by Lord Byron and takes place in fifteenth century Venice. Since we can’t get back to Venice any time soon, I finally got started on Donna Leon’s second Commissario Brunetti mystery, Death in a Strange Country. If you are also enamored with Venice and love good mysteries, I highly recommend Donna Leon’s books. Brunetti is a quiet, thoughtful detective who takes us with him all over Venice solving crimes…and Leon has written 24 books Commissario Brunetti books, so it’s safe to make friends with him and settle down in Venice for awhile.