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Death at La Fenice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Paperback – July 27, 2004
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Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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La Fenice is the name of Venice's famed opera house and in this novel, death is the event de jour, as a well-known German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, shortly before he was to conduct "La Traviata." Of course, the show must go on. Of course, the police must be called.
And we are introduced to Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police in Venice. He's also a brilliant detective. With suspects galore, Brunetti finds the early going to be confusing and not all what the "facts" may seem.
In Brunetti, Donna Leon has created the quintessential police detective. He is a man whom we are proud to call an acquaintance as we follow his trail in all the Leon books. She describes him: "He was a surprisingly neat man: tie carefully knotted, hair shorter than was the fashion; even his ears lay close to his head, as if reluctant to call attention to themselves. His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced that he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman."
Leon, in addition to being a first rate novelist, has been an American English teacher aboard, and healthy international sales have made her vision of Venice well known. She seems to love the city, but with an attitude that shows her feet are on the ground. She lets Brunetti characterize the city: "And then he was at the water's edge, the bridge to his right. How typically Venetian it was, looking, from a distance, lofty and ethereal but revealing itself, upon closer reflection, to be firmly grounded in the mud of the city.Read more ›
The hero of this book is Venice. Each page lives and breaths Venice. The smells, the sounds, the language, the fog, the people - it's all in the novel. The book took me back to Venice and I enjoyed every minute. Donna Leon is a fine writer. If she would develop an action hero like Sue Grafton or Judith Van Gieson, I think she would become a best selling author. As it is, she's like an absolutely perfect one-carat diamond: small but exceptional and highly valuable. If you love Venice, you'll enjoy this book even if you don't like mysteries.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent series set in Venice. Highly recommended. I look forward to the next one. Brunetti, the chief inspector, is a sympathic man and all the characters are well drawn and... Read morePublished 6 days ago by zombiebunnies
The characters are a delight, the scenes well described and the tale gripping, the end more convoluted than expected. It was a pleasure to read.Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Donna Leon is an excellent writer. All her novels are very good. I like that they all revolve around the same person, Brunetti and his family and work associates. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Deborah Woods
A good plot; very appealing detective; and a marvelous setting. The Venetian background, and the observations on Italian character, lend a unique flavor. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Athenaesq
A very interesting read. Nixe way ro spend a humid day.Published 19 days ago by Margaret Dell McBride
I will now read more of Commissario Brunetti's cases. Very happy to have followed through on recommendation to read Donna Leon.Published 19 days ago by TTS
I am a big fan of the series. This is not the best, but I like that it takes place in the opera sub-culture. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pamela
My mother kept after me to read the Brunetti books and I persistently delayed. I shouldn't have. The mystery itself if it's meant to truly be one is not terribly engaging but... Read morePublished 1 month ago by WW Ogden