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Death at La Fenice: A Novel of Suspense Hardcover – July 1, 1992

4.4 out of 5 stars 4,545 ratings

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Hardcover, July 1, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A breathless beginning and an unexpected lack of reference to the lush setting mark this lively launch of a projected series of Venetian mysteries. When legendary German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room two acts into a performance of La Traviata , police commissario Guido Brunetti is called in. Among those who might have provided the cyanide poison that killed the maestro, immediate suspects include the vaunted conductor's coolly indifferent young wife and those many in the music industry who are offended by his homophobia. Methodically probing into the victim's past, Brunetti also uncovers Wellauer's Nazi sympathies and a lead to a trio of singing sisters from yesteryear--one now destitute, one dead and the other missing. Though burdened by a dictatorial superior and two lumpen subordinates, Brunetti gets help from his aristocratic wife and her well-connected parents. The narrative's best moments involve Brunetti's wry exchanges with his colleagues and the cunningly masked, obvious solution.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Cyanide poisoning during the second-act intermission of La Traviata leaves the eminent conductor Helmut Wellauer dead, survived by a constellation of suspects from prima Flavia Petrelli (whose lesbian liaison with a wealthy American archeologist, Brett Lynch, Wellauer was threatening to expose) to director Franco Santore (furious over Wellauer's refusal to honor a bargain to find a job for Santore's prot‚g‚)--and including of course Wellauer's suddenly wealthy, and much younger, widow Elizabeth. The investigating officer, Guido Brunetti, Vice-Commissario of the Venice Police, brings to his first case tact, persistence, and a useful sympathy with young women--which becomes suddenly pertinent when he unearths Wellauer's prewar involvement with a family of three star-crossed girls. Deftly plotted and smoothly written in the Ngaio Marsh cultural mode, but recommended even for readers who, like Brett Lynch, don't care for Verdi. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins; 1st edition (July 1, 1992)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 263 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060168714
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060168711
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 1.1 x 5.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 4,545 ratings

About the author

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A New Yorker of Irish/Spanish descent, Donna Leon first went to Italy in 1965, returning regularly over the next decade or so while pursuing a career as an academic in the States and then later in Iran, China and finally Saudi Arabia. Leon has received both the CWA Macallon Silver Dagger for Fiction and the German Corrine Prize for her novels featuring Commisario Guido Brunetti. She lives in Venice.

Photo by Michiel Hendryckx (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty for pure crime fiction fans but much more as well.
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