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About Donna Leon
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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In the landmark thirtieth installment of the bestselling series the New Yorker has called “an unusually potent cocktail of atmosphere and event,” Guido Brunetti is forced to confront an unimaginable crime
In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joy riding in the Laguna with two young Italians. However, Brunetti’s curiosity is aroused by the behavior of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital. If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it?
As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. To get to the bottom of what proves to be a gut-wrenching case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Costiera. Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are technologically brilliant and ruthlessly organized.
Donna Leon’s Transient Desires is as powerful as any novel she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits and forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.
In Death and Judgment, a truck crashes and spills its dangerous cargo on a treacherous road in the Italian Dolomite mountains. Meanwhile, in Santa Lucia, a prominent international lawyer is found dead aboard an intercity train. Suspecting a connection between the two tragedies, Brunetti digs deep for an answer, stumbling upon a seedy Venetian bar that holds the key to a crime network that reaches far beyond the laguna. But it will take another violent death in Venice before Brunetti and his colleagues begin to understand what is really going on.
“No one is more graceful and accomplished than Leon.” —The Washington Post
“The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti, with his love of food and his loving family, proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[Brunetti’s] humane police work is disarming, and his ambles through the city are a delight.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The heady atmosphere of Venice and a galaxy of fully realized characters enrich this intriguing and finally horrifying tale.” —Publishers Weekly
“The first of Leon’s books to knit together all her strengths: endearing detective, jaundiced social pathology, and a paranoid eye for plotting on a grand scale.” —Kirkus Reviews
During intermission at the famed La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy, a notoriously difficult and widely disliked German conductor is poisoned—and suspects abound. Guido Brunetti, a native Venetian, sets out to unravel the mystery behind the high-profile murder. To do so, he calls on his knowledge of Venice, its culture, and its dirty politics. Along the way, he finds the crime may have roots going back decades—and that revenge, corruption, and even Italian cuisine may play a role.
“One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.” —The Washington Post
“A brilliant writer . . . an immensely likable police detective who takes every murder to heart.” —The New York Times Book Review
For Commissario Brunetti, it began with an early morning phone call. In the chill of the Venetian dawn, a sudden act of vandalism shatters the quiet of the deserted city. But Brunetti is shocked to find that the culprit waiting to be apprehended at the scene is someone from his own family.
Meanwhile, Brunetti is under pressure from his superiors to solve a daring robbery with a link to a suspicious accidental death. Does it all lead back to the Mafia? And how are his family’s actions connected to these crimes? The truth must be uncovered in this novel in the Silver Dagger Award–winning series by “one of the best of the international crime writers” (Rocky Mountain News).
“Leon’s devoted readers love her books for their juicy mystery plots, and also for the rich and varied cast of recurring characters, among which is the city of Venice itself.” —Publishers Weekly
When Commissario Guido Brunetti first meets her, Claudia Leonardo is merely one of his wife’s students. Intelligent and serious, she asks for his help in obtaining a pardon for a crime once committed by her now-dead grandfather. Brunetti thinks little of it—until Claudia is found dead.
Unable to find any living relatives, he visits the elderly Austrian woman who was once Claudia’s grandfather’s lover and with whom Claudia was close—and is stunned by the extraordinary art collection she keeps in her otherwise modest apartment. When she, too, is murdered, Brunetti’s investigation uncovers shocking skeletons in the closet of Nazi collaboration that few in Italy want revealed . . .
“[A] widely admired series.” —Chicago Tribune
“The appeal of Guido Brunetti, the hero of Donna Leon’s long-running Venetian crime series, comes not from his shrewdness, though he is plenty shrewd, nor from his quick wit. It comes, instead, from his role as an Everyman . . . [his life is] not so different from our own days at the office or nights around the dinner table. Crime fiction for those willing to grapple with, rather than escape, the uncertainties of daily life.” —Booklist
Early one morning, Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice police confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young man is fished out of a fetid canal. All clues point to a violent mugging, but for Brunetti the motive of robbery seems altogether too convenient. When something discovered in the victim’s apartment suggests the existence of a high-level conspiracy, Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody, somewhere, is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
Rich with atmosphere and marvelous plotting, Death in a Strange Country is a superb novel in Donna Leon’s chilling Venetian mystery series.
Praise for Donna Leon and the Commissario Brunetti Mysteries
“One of the best international crime writers is Donna Leon, and her Commissario Guido Brunetti tales set in Venice are at the apex of continental thrillers.” —Rocky Mountain News
“Leon’s books shimmer in the grace of their setting and are warmed by the charm of her characters.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Brunetti . . . long ago joined the ranks of the classic fictional detectives.” —Evening Standard
“Commissario Brunetti, most charismatic current Euro-cop, uncovers deadly ants’ nest of corruption. A highly accomplished, scary read.” —The Guardian
Commissario Brunetti’s latest assignment is to look into a minor shop-keeping violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife comes to him with a request of her own. The sweet, simple-minded man who worked at their dry cleaner has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him.
Brunetti begins to investigate and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no passport, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. Stranger still, the dead man’s mother refuses to speak to the police. And as secrets unravel, Brunetti begins to suspect that an aristocratic family might be somehow connected to the mystery . . .
“Leon’s success . . . is testament to the heartening fact that character counts in crime fiction.” —Booklist, starred review
On a beautiful spring morning on the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, a small boat moored at the docks suddenly explodes, killing two local clam fishermen. When it becomes clear that the fire was deliberately set, Brunetti decides to investigate. But when he tries to dig up information about the murder, the island’s tight-knit, closemouthed community closes ranks—forcing Brunetti to accept Signorina Elettra’s offer to visit her relatives there to search for clues.
On the island, Brunetti finds himself torn between his duty to solve the murders and his concerns for the Signorina’s safety. And though he is loyal to his beloved wife, Brunetti’s concern for his boss’s spirited secretary may be driven by more than platonic feeling . . .
“The arrival of a new Donna Leon book fills me with pleasurable anticipation. She tells a good story, including the best of all current police detectives, Commissario Brunetti, and locates it in a superbly described Venice. The plot is beautifully constructed. The climax is exciting and disturbing . . . Brunetti is as irresistible as ever.” —The Scotsman
“The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti, with his love of food and his loving family, proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities.” —TheWall Street Journal
Detective Commissario Guido Brunetti has been called to investigate a parent’s worst nightmare. A young cadet has been found hanged, a presumed suicide, in Venice’s elite military academy.
Brunetti’s sorrow for the boy, so close in age to his own son, is rivaled only by his contempt for a community that is more concerned with protecting the reputation of the school, and its privileged students, than understanding this tragedy. The young man is the son of a doctor and former politician—a man of impeccable integrity, all too rare in politics. Dr. Moro is clearly devastated; but while both he and his apparently estranged wife seem convinced that the boy’s death could not have been suicide, neither appears eager to talk to the police or involve Brunetti in any investigation of the circumstances in which he died.
As Brunetti pursues his inquiry, he is faced with a wall of silence. Is the military protecting its own? And what of the other witnesses? Is this the natural reluctance of Italians to involve themselves with the authorities, or is Brunetti facing a conspiracy far greater than this one death?
“Brunetti is a compelling character, a good man trying to stay on the honest path in a devious and twisted world.” —The Baltimore Sun
When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Guido Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared.
The autopsy shows he had suffered from a rare, disfiguring disease. A shopkeeper tells Brunetti that the man had a kindly way with animals. Finally, the victim is identified as a much-loved veterinarian—and Brunetti’s quest to find the killer will take him on a harrowing journey . . .
“All her trademark strengths shine in this swiftly paced, sophisticated tale of greed versus ethics.” —The Seattle Times
“Written with such delicacy and emotional force that we can’t help but be reminded of Greek tragedy.” —Booklist, starred review
On a luminous spring day in Venice, Commissario Brunetti and his assistant play hooky from work to help a friend, Marco Ribetti, arrested during an environmental protest. They secure his release, only to be faced by the fury of the man’s father-in-law, Giovanni De Cal, a cantankerous glass factory owner who has been heard in the bars of Murano making violent threats about Ribetti.
Brunetti’s curiosity is piqued, and he finds himself drawn to Murano to investigate. Is De Cal the type of man to carry out his threats? Then one morning the body of De Cal’s night watchman is found. Over long lunches, on secret boat rides, in quiet bars, and down narrow streets, Brunetti searches for the killer . . .
“One of the best of the international crime writers.” —Rocky Mountain News
“[A] superlative series.” —The New York Times Book Review
Commissario Guido Brunetti’s hopes for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera—a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse but is met with a wall of silence. He then receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information. And before the night is out, Brunetti is confronting yet another appalling, and apparently senseless, death.
“[One of] the real charms of this series [is] the endearing character of Brunetti and his compassionate insights into the heart of Venice and the soul of its people. . . . Truly, a refreshing hero.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Despite the gruesome way in which this murder, and subsequent ones, take place, it’s really a cheery, breezy mystery, filled with good humor and adventure. The ending can only leave the reader waiting avidly for the next time we meet Brunetti and his lively friends and cohorts.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Leon delivers her plot in an unassuming, graceful and beautifully paced prose that hides its measured elegance.” —The Washington Post
“One of the most appealing of recent detectives, Brunetti stars in a case that brings out his canniness and his compassion—and shows his creator spreading her wings more powerfully than ever.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Richly evocative. . . . Venice takes on a deep noir tint in Leon’s latest well-crafted work.” —Publishers Weekly