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A Sea of Troubles Paperback – March 28, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; 15th Impression edition (March 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009941516X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099415169
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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 "Donna Leon goes from strength to strength ... This is her tenth novel but it's as fresh and entertaining as the first" The Observer "Mesmerising" Express on Sunday "A splendid series ... with a backdrop so vivid you can smell it" Sunday Telegraph "Brunetti is hard to beat - Leon's tenth novel more than maintains the standard of its predecessors" TLS --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Donna Leon has lived and taught English literature in Switzerland, Iran, China, Italy and Saudi Arabia. She now lives in Venice. She is the Sunday Times' crime reviewer.

Customer Reviews

Donna Leon's mysteries are wonderful.
Also good because a few well known characters from the Questura are more involved in the plot than usually are in the Brunetti series.
Characters very interesting and the story was great.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Donna Leon simply is a mesmerizing writer. No other author--and some do come
close--approaches her today in terms of suspense, characterization, plot
development, and social significance. In "Sea of Troubles," she continues her
exceptional level of excellence. I could hardly wait for this edition (it's not available
for some incredible reason in the States!)to arrive.
Guido Brunetti has his hands full, once more. Two men (a father and his son) are
found murdered in a sunken fishing boat in the waters off Pelligrina. However, the
villagers close ranks and are in no hurry to cooperate with the police. Enjoining the
services of Signorina Ellatra, Brunetti begins a painful, plodding investigation.
With this type of story, Leon is quite good--and she never lets up on the
environmental issues ("Don't eat the shellfish!").
Her murderers don't come as surprises in the final pages, as Leon doesn't use this
device; instead, she depends upon the brilliant thinking of Brunetti and his team to
bring the guilty, whom we know early enough, to bear. This is not to say that "Sea
of Troubles" doesn't contain great suspense--it does. And Leon, who clearly is in
love with Venice, captains this book in the best of traditions. Lucky she has Guido
Brunetti and his staff and family as crew members. Don't miss this one! (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
A Sea of Troubles is a pleasant change in the Guido Brunetti series. Although Venice is surrounded (and almost inundated by) the sea, there's often little sense of that element in the earlier stories except in recounting the need to take a boat or vaporetto to get somewhere. In this book, we learn about fishing and its challenges (for fisherman and those who eat their catch) as Donna Leon takes us southwest of Venice to the long, thin island of Pellestrina.

The opening of the book contains an excellent map of Venice and its lagoon that covers an area of about 40 by 25 kilometers. Stick a book mark into where that map is: You'll be referring to the map often.

A fire breaks out on a fishing boat docked on Pellestrina. Soon, the whole harbor is filled with fishermen seeking to save their boats. After things settle down, someone notices that two fishermen are missing.

Before long, the various police bureaucracies are vying to get rid of the case. Commissario Guido Brunetti is the lucky winner and finds himself up against a town that doesn't talk to outsiders . . . and certainly not to Venetian policemen.

While seeking to learn more about what happened, Signorina Elletra Zorzi decides she would like to play undercover detective by spending a few days with her cousin on Pellestrina. Who knows? Perhaps someone will tell her something.

Guido is very opposed but knows he cannot sway Signorina Elletra. However, he can try to protect her. Even Paolo begins to notice that Guido is obsessed. Could it be that his feelings for Signorina Elletra are more than what they seem?

As usual, back channels begin to provide the information that reveals who had the motive for crime.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jim Tenuto VINE VOICE on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Donna Leon has achieved what most series writers cannot. In Commissario Guido Brunetti, she has created a real protagonist, an old friend that you visit with each succeeding book. Sea of Troubles is more physical than her previous books, and while hardly "action packed", the book explores Brunetti's feelings more deeply.

Twi brutal murders in Pelestrina take the story away from Venice and into the closed community of fishermen. Outsiders are not welcome nor trusted, and among those most to be avoided are the police.

Leon does a wonderful job with her secondary and tertiary characters, crafting memorable people with only a few sentences. As always Brunetti's superior, Vice Questore Patta comes across as a preening fool, and Sergeant Vianello, Brunetti's muscle and sometime conscience, also plays true to form.

As always, the city of Venice, and in this case Pelestrina, are important to the book. Like Boston is to Lehane, so to is Venice to Leon. Palpable, sometimes oppressive, old cities with a social hierarchy to be reckoned with.

Leon, while not yet crafting a stunning book worthy of 5 stars, (this is the 9th), has written a literate and satisfying series.

Ironically, I firs saw copies of her book in Venice, on the bookshelf in the Peggy Guggenheim museum. A wonderful introduction...and very Venetian.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Darlene T. on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This series of mysteries by Donna Leon features a clever detective and a setting in Venice. Leon has lived abroad for years but she is from New Jersey and she is bright. I've read few mysteries prior to discovering this series, now I can't find enough of them to read. (I wish I still had my bookstore in order to direct readers to these!) To keep a loyal following a series must be fresh, entertaining and must feature an admirable character...Guido Brunetti fits the bill! His wife is a professor and his children act like teenagers (in Italy). The setting is fascinating. I've never seen Venice but it is great fun to read about as Guido pursues the murderer through the city. Please, Amazon, get them here faster!
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More About the Author

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.