A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
Review by Brenda Repland
Commissario Guido Brunetti – a man dedicated to truth and justice – enjoys a loving family and reasonably fulfilling job. But when he overreacts during a police interrogation, his acts will have far-reaching effect, beyond anything he could imagine.
The consequences compel him to take a short leave from the stresses of work and seek some solitude. Paola, his wife, suggests he stay at the villa of a cousin on Sant’Erasmo, one of the islands in the laguna. He agrees and whiles away his days rowing with the villa’s caretaker, Davide Casati and reading.
His stay proves therapeutic until Casati goes missing during a sudden storm. This is strange since Casati is a man of the sea and has rowed every day of his adult life, as familiar with the laguna and its weather as anyone. Brunetti feels he must investigate and learns that the missing man has seemed troubled recently, but no one knows why.
The Life of Noor Inayat Khan
Review by Brenda Repland
This is the biography of Noor Inayat Khan, code-named Madeleine, and her dramatically brave work with the French Resistance during World War II.
Born to an American mother and an Indian father who was a Prince and Sufi preacher, this Muslim girl undertook one of the most dangerous undercover assignments of the time. Her father was deeply affected by the war and spoke to filled halls on spirituality. His work took the family from Moscow to Paris to London.
The Nazi occupation of France drove the family to London but not before Noor witnessed the German bombing of fleeing refugees. These acts forged in her a resolve to do whatever she could to fight such a regime.
Once in London, she explored a means to aid her adopted country. Ultimately, she was trained by British SOE as a radio operator and in the tactics to survive undercover. Though there were some concerns about her degree of “toughness” for the job, Britain was desperate for radio operators to be placed in occupied France. At the time, it was the only method of communicating on the situation there with the Allies in Britain.
Noor was flown to France where she became part of the famous Prosper circuit of spies and resistance workers. Unfortunately, this circuit was compromised just two weeks after her arrival and she was subsequently betrayed by one of its members.
Hers is a fascinating story of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. Not only was she awarded the George Cross, and the Croix de Guerre with gold star, the highest civilian awards of Britain and France but she is still honored every Bastille Day in her hometown in France.