Results tagged “Donna Leon” from Reading
In a village in the Italian Dolomites a farmer ploughs up a young man's body. When a signet ring suggests he's the kidnapped son of a family of Venetian merchant aristocrats, Commissario Brunetti naturally seeks insights from his father in law.
A really good read, combining the main plot with the self-serving political machinations always in play within the Questura and the three loves of Commissario Brunetti's life: justice, food and family.
Publisher page: A Noble Radiance - Donna Leon
The body of a mainland vet is found floating in a Venetian canal... a femme fatale materialises at the Meste slaughterhouse he worked at.... so far, so normal - but in Beastly Things Donna Leon brings a distinctly different tone to her investigations (contemplations?) of modern day Italian life compared to previous novels.
More cynical, jaded, despairing? I can't quite decide. But for the first time we hear Commissario Brunetti muse openly on the awkward (il)legality of Signora Elettra's computer hacking skills, acknowledge the envy of his colleagues in grittier cities, and - most disturbingly of all - see him fail to find comfort, joy and escape in good food and wine.
Amazon.co.uk link: Beastly Things - Donna Leon
Mafia and murder in the Marghera - another very good outing with Commissario Brunetti.
Amazon.co.uk link: About Face - Donna Leon
A speedy read after All the Pretty Horses, but then Commissario Brunetti's Venice offers a more familiar cast and (crime) scenes than two cowboys on the plains of Texas and Mexico.
In The Girl of His Dreams starts with the funeral of Brunetti's mother, and family ties and loyalties continue to play a key role after Brunetti and Vianello are called upon to investigate the discovery of a young gypsy girl's body in one of Venice's many canals.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Girl of His Dreams - Donna Leon
A environmental theme runs through all of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series, and comes out particularly powerfully in this tale of family businesses facing financial troubles partly due to increased regulation and awareness of the industrial waste that runs (pours?) into Venice's famous lagoon.
But the green theme does not overpower the principal plotline, where Brunetti and Inspector Vianello investigate a murder in a glass factory on the island of Murano, and family strife between the generations, the sexes and the in-laws.
When a father and son are found murdered in their fishing boat on the island of Pellestrina, Comissario Brunetti and Detective Vianello leave their familiar turf of La Serenissima to investigate... which turns out to be a tricky task when faced with such a closed and close knit community.
When the ever resourceful Singorina Elletra volunteers to go undercover on the basis that she has relatives on Pellestrina and has regularly holidayed there in the past, Brunetti finds himself up against an equally impenetrably barrier; his attempts to dissuade her fail and the team find themselves truly in a sea of troubles.
In this novel, the crime and 'police procedural' part of the plot play second fiddle to the key characters - Guido and Paola Brunetti, Vianello and Elletra, and the island communities that inhabit the Venetian Laguna.
Commissario Guido Brunetti is called upon to investigate a night time botched house arrest-cum-attack by three Carabinieri, which has left a local revered doctor in hospital, his 18 month old son is taken into care and his wife, daughter of a Venetian oligarch strangely unconcerned.
As events unfold we discover the despairing and desperate world of infertility clinics and illegal adoption, the lengths to which the rich and powerful will go to satisfy their own desires, and pharmacists playing god.
My first Donna Leon for a long time; Hello again Commissario Brunetti!
The murder of a transvestite on the outskirts of Venice arouses surprisingly little concern amongst the police, until Guido Brunetti arrives on the scene and listens to the niggling doubts that convince him that all is not as straightforward as it seems. As the investigation unfolds, bank managers and local worthies come into focus in an inevitably Italian way, and Vice-Questore Patta is left by one woman (his wife, for a pornographer) and joined by another (welcome Signora Elletra).
... in which Commisario Guido Brunetti investigates the murder of a surprisingly wealthy and unwordly young student and an elderly Austrian woman, whose apartment turns out to house an astounding art collection. Not that unusual in Venice but the origins of this collection turn out to have close connections with jews fleeing Italy during World War II.
An American from the military base at Vincenza is found floating in the Venice lagoon, and Commissario Guido Brunetti's instincts tell him that it's no accidental death or mugging gone wrong. Calling upon informants ranging from his aristocratic father-in-law to a local petty criminal and his Sicilian mother, Guido finds himself delving into the murky waters of international corporate crime....
Oh - I've just read on the dust jacket that this is the second in the Brunetti series, which explains why some of the more familiar faces are missing, including the excellent Signorina Elettra.
A jump forward in time (and sequence) from Death in La Fenice, Uniform Justice deals with the apparent suicide of a young soldier at Venice's prestigious military school. The story reveals the lives and morals of the privileged families who control the army, politics and Venetian society, and the disdain most - but, importantly, not all - have for law and the police, good government and the proletariat.
I'd chanced upon this, the first Brunetti novel, on my most recent trip to the library, which meant I was able to read it as we travelled through France and northern Italy to Jess and Mike's wedding in Milan.
The plot concerns the murder of Helmut Wellauer, a world famous, albeit rather unpleasant, conductor, in the middle of a performance in Venice's La Fenice opera theatre. Commissario Brunetti's investigations reveal a multitude of motives and suspects, but the truth turns out to be both simpler (in fact) and more complex (in motivation) than first appears.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Fatal Remedies, I rushed headlong into Friends in High Places. Well worth paying the penalty of starting Donna Leon's Brunetti novels with zero knowledge of the order in which they were written.
In Friends in High Places the Brunettis are informed by a planning officer that their flat doesn't exist, despite solid physical evidence to the contrary. We are introduced to all the weird and wonderful "logic" of Italian bureaucracy, and the Brunettis immediate instinct as to how to deal with the risk of losing their family home? To turn to friends and family in high places.....
The book's title takes on a more sinister meaning with the planning officer is found dead, apparently having fallen from one of Venice's many old building's being restored. And that charming old couple Brunetti sees in Piazza San Marco? Evil money lenders who call in such valuable properties in lieu of unpaid/unpayable debts.
Another Italian sleuth recommendation from John Gyford, and handily he'd left two Donna Leons at the caravan for our August visit. For some reason I'd always assumed that as Donna Leon is American, she would be writing novels set in America. How wrong I was!
Commissario Guido Brunetti is Aurelio Zen with a settled family life and less violent crimes to solve. Set in modern day Venice, I get the feeling the two should know one another, at the very least. From the picture drawn by the two authors, there can't be that many honest senior cops in that part of Italy!
In Fatal Remedies, Brunetti is faced with the dilemma of how to "investigate" his wife's principles-led act of vandalism - throwing a brick through the window of a travel agency she believes caters for child sex tourism to South East Asia. Not having read the preceding novels, it's hard to assess the full extent of the pressure this puts on the Brunetti's marriage. They seem a strong committed couple, but this commitment comes into conflict with their commitments to their principles - Guido to upholding the law, Paola's to protesting against social evils that appear to be beyond the long arm of the law.
The plot isn't entirely focused on the Brunettis - when the owner of the travel agency dies, more sinister crimes than Paola's come in to play. And I love Signorina Eletra, the mild mannered secretary with a vast network of contacts in Italy's organs of state, and l33t hacker skillz. She brings a bit of the world of James Bond to the tale.