Death at La Venice by Donna Leon

I’d love to review a really good book right now, but the only fiction I seem to be reading since Cormac McCarthy’s new novels are not in the least little bit inspiring. They’re not even good for escape (except possibly the The Christmas Express – Alexandra Benedict / 2022).  Death at La Venice was boring.  I think it was written so the author could show off her knowledge of Venice, Italy, views, food, art and other cultural elements. Then the protagonist of what became a series, Detective Guido Brunetti, got popular. I think I read one of these several years ago.  (So… checking… checking … yes, I read “Falling In Love” in 2016 and rated it a C+). I should have known better this time.  I hate when this happens, Oh well. –  live and learn. This is one reason for keeping my blog!!!   

Death at La Venice 
by Donna Leon 
Read by David Colacci 9h 33m 
Rating: C- / foreign detective crime
(Commissario Brunetti series – Book 1)

From Audible: 
A conductor succumbs to cyanide at the famed Venice opera house, in the first mystery in the New York Times-bestselling, award-winning series. 

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

The series has 31 novels to date. Donna Leon was born American and writes in English but moved to Italy and then to Switzerland becoming a Swiss citizen in 2002. Her works are translated into many languages, except she doesn’t allow Italian translations.  This has always struck me as being very interesting.

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2 Responses to Death at La Venice by Donna Leon

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    Ah, so often the case with novelists in this genre: there is a limit to how far a series can go, and some of them fail to see when they have reached it.


  2. Yes! I’ve read several series where after about 15 or 20 novels taking place in the same area the author takes the protagonist to France (Louise Penny) or South America (James Lee Burke) or even to the suburbs (Michael Connelly) LOL! Monica Ferris took her protagonist to Vietnam to investigate import troubles. Jessica Fletcher traveled to England after she found that boyfriend. Maxine Praeto has her woman getting involved with her CIA husband.

    Some authors invent new characters to help out and then take over. One could do a semi-serious paper on this.


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