Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers. She is an award-winning crime novelist, celebrated for the bestselling Brunetti series. Donna has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Donna''s books have been translated into 35 languages and have been published around the world. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places , which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Fatal Remedies, Doctored Evidence, A Sea of Troubles and Beastly Things .
In the 28th novel in Donna Leon's bestselling crime series, Commissario Guido Brunetti is drawn reluctantly into an old friend's long-hidden mystery. Brunetti's father-in-law, the Count Falier, urges him to intervene in the seemingly innocent plan of the Count's best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodr¡guez de Tejeda, to adopt a much younger man as his son.
In Death at La Fenice , Donna Leon''s first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italy''s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli - then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca . As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers. But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses - on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment - it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker. Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help. Familiar with Flavia''s melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flavia''s fears may be justified. In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.
Marco has been arrested during an environmental protest. Brunetti and Vianello get him released, only to be faced by the fury of the man's father-in-law, who owns a glass factory on Murano. Brunetti must discover, who is poisoning the land. A man is dead - but will politics and expedience prevent the killer from striking again?
With few social connections and little money, in-fighting amongst these workers is the obvious answer. But once Brunetti begins investigating this Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the immigrant society.
Neither Commissario Brunetti nor his wife Paola have ever had much sympathy for the Italian armed forces, so when a young cadet is found hanged, at Venice's elite military academy, Brunetti's emotions are complex: pity and sorrow at the death of a boy close in age to his own son, and contempt and irritation for the arrogance and high-handedness of the boy's teachers and fellow students.
The young man is the son of an ex-politician, a man of an impeccable integrity all too rare in Italian politics. But as Brunetti - and the indispensable Signorina Elettra - investigate further, no one seems willing to talk, as the military protects its own and civilians keep their own counsel. Is this the natural reluctance of Italians to involve themselves with the authorities, or is Brunetti facing a conspiracy of silence?
In a city as ancient as Venice, myths and legends passed down from generation to generation record more than just love or murder. This title recounts some of Venice's most intriguing tales: an elephant brought in for Carnival wreaks havoc upon the city before seeking refuge in a church, and more.
By Its Cover is the much anticipated twenty-third instalment in Donna Leon's bestselling crime series, where Commissario Brunetti is better than ever as he addresses questions of worth and value alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra.
When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn't quite add up.
Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library's regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library's chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone.
However, when Franchini is found murdered in his home, the case takes a more sinister turn and soon Brunetti finds himself submerged in the dark secrets of the black market of antiquarian books. Alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra, he delves into the pages of Franchini's past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.
Of all the trademarks of Venice - and there are many, from the gilded Basilica of San Marco to the melancholy Bridge of Sighs - none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. The feat took five years and countless do-overs. But the gondola is a work of art well worth the labour. This book deals with this work.
Twenty-one years ago, when a conductor was poisoned and the Questura sent a man to investigate, readers first met Commissario Guido Brunetti. Since 1992''s Death at La Fenice , Donna Leon and her shrewd, sophisticated, and compassionate investigator have been delighting readers around the world. For her millions of fans, Leon''s novels have opened a window into the private Venice of her citizens, a world of incomparable beauty, family intimacy, shocking crime, and insidious corruption. This internationally acclaimed, bestselling series is widely considered one of the best ever written, and William Heinemann is thrilled to be publishing the twenty-second installment, The Golden Egg , in April 2013. When making routine enquiries into a possible bribery case that could embarrass the mayor - a humiliation Vice-Questore Patta is very keen to avoid - Commissario Brunetti receives a call from his wife, Paola, who is evidently very upset. The middle-aged deaf mute with the mental age of a child who helped out at the Brunetti''s dry cleaners has been found dead - an ''accidental'' overdose of his mother''s sleeping pills - and for some reason Paola is distraught by the news. To the neighbourhood he was just the ''boy'' who helped out, but nobody knew much about him - not even his name. That a soul could have lived such a joyless life is too much for Paola to bear, and she asks Guido if he can find out what happened. It is a surprise to Brunetti just how little was known about this man-child - there are no official records to show he even existed. The man''s mother is angry and contradictory when questioned about his death, and Brunetti senses that there much more to the story than she is willing to tell. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, perhaps Brunetti can get to the truth and find some measure of solace.
From the bestselling author of the Brunetti series comes The Jewels of Paradise , a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history and greed and Donna Leon''s first stnad-alone novel. Caterina Pellegrini is a young Venetian musicologist hired by two competing cousins to find the truthful heir to an alleged treasure concealed by a once-famous, but now almost forgotten, baroque composer. Sworn to secrecy, Caterina can solve the mystery only by searching through the papers contained in the composer''s two chests that have not been opened for centuries. As she delves into all quarters of his life, from professional to personal, she is drawn into one of the most scandalous affairs of the baroque era. When her research takes her in unexpected directions, she begins to wonder what dark secrets these chests hold and just whom can she trust?
A girl's body is found floating in one of Venice's canals. But no one has reported a missing child or the theft of the gold jewellery that she carries. So Commissario Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death but also her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children.
A young woman returns from holiday to find her elderly neighbour dead on the floor. A heart attack seems the likely cause, but Commissario Brunetti is not so sure and decides to take a closer look. Soon he discovers that she was part of an organization that cares for abused women and that her apartment was a safe-house. Convinced that this is the lead he has been looking for, Brunetti begins his search for answers. But as he sets out to discover the truth behind her death, he is drawn into a decades-old story of lies and deceit that has blighted love and ruined lives - and has claimed this innocent woman as its newest victim. Brunetti''s investigation takes him deep into the dark heart of his beloved Venice.
When Commissario Brunetti is summoned to the hospital bedside of a senior paediatrician whose skull has been fractured, he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men have burst into the doctor's apartment in the middle of the night, attacked him and taken away his son. What can have motivated such a violent assault by the police?
At a dinner party given by his parents-in-law, Comissario Brunetti meets Franca Marinello, the wife of a prosperous Venetian businessman. He's charmed - perhaps too charmed, suggests his wife Paola - by her love of Virgil and Cicero, but shocked by her appearance.
In The Waters of Eternal Youth , the twenty-fifth instalment in the bestselling Brunetti series, our Commissario finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a crime at all. Brunetti is investigating a cold case by request of the grand Contessa Lando-Continui, a friend of Brunetti''s mother-in-law. Fifteen years ago the Contessa''s teenage granddaughter, Manuela, was found drowning in a canal. She was rescued from the canal at the last moment, but in many ways it was too late; she suffered severe brain damage and her life was never the same again. Once a passionate horse rider, Manuela, now aged thirty, cannot remember the accident, or her beloved horse, and lives trapped in an eternal youth. The Contessa, unconvinced that this was an accident, implores Brunetti to find the culprit she believes was responsible for ruining Manuela''s life. Out of a mixture of curiosity, pity and a willingness to fulfil the wishes of a loving grandmother, Brunetti reopens the case. But once he starts to investigate, Brunetti finds a murky past and a dark story at its heart. The Waters of Eternal Youth is awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, all circling the haunting story of a woman trapped in a perpetual childhood.
As Venice experiences a debilitating heatwave, Commissario Brunetti prepares to escape the city and spend time with his family in the mountains. For Ispettore Vianello, the weather is the last thing on his mind; it appears his aunt has become obsessed with horoscopes and has been withdrawing large amounts of money from the family business.
Invites readers into the Brunettis' kitchen to learn how to prepare for themselves the delicious meals Paola Brunetti prepares for her family. This title gives us the secrets to Brunetti's favourite dish (penne rigate), Paola's famous apple cake, a lasagne recipe from Brunetti's mother, and a host of other Italian classics.