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Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon

Death at La Fenice (1992)

by Donna Leon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Commissario Brunetti (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,446892,522 (3.62)250
  1. 10
    The Fallen Angel by David Hewson (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Leon is more atmospherical, more into Italy. In Hewson one finds more action and flashiness.
  2. 01
    Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon (Smiler69)

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» See also 250 mentions

English (73)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Portuguese (1)  All (89)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
Amazing! A first novel that was well done! I look forward to reading number two!

I didn't get a full picture of Venice through this book, but I imagine I will become more and more familiar with its streets and byways and canals as I read more and more of the series.

I know next to nothing about Opera, but some of the characters did flesh out the caricatures of the principal or typical subjects. I really puzzled over the list of suspects. Of course, this no doubt had much to do with the fact this was a "first" book. No spoiler alerts from me. So, while the murderer seemed obvious, the reason wasn't so clear until the end. The detective, Guido Brunetti, is human. Wow. What a nice change. ( )
  kaulsu | Aug 28, 2017 |
Maestro Helmut Wellauer, considered the world's greatest living conductor, is found dead of cyanide poisoning between Acts 2 and 3 of La Traviata at Venice's La Fenice Opera House. Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice police is called in to investigate. There are plenty of suspects since Wellauer made a lot of enemies on his way to the top.

An engaging and professional man in his forties, Brunetti is one of the three highest detectives working under Vice-Questore Giuseppi Patta, a pretentious man of limited intelligence who holds his position because of politics. It's a pleasure to join Brunetti as he picks his way through the investigation, and the somewhat surprising conclusion. One of the things I really liked about this book is that the reader is involved in Brunetti’s thought processes as he works the investigation. By the end of the story readers are intimately acquainted with him, as well as his family, and he seems like a friend.

This is the first mystery in a hugely popular series by Donna Leon that currently has 24 books . It's been on my TBR forever. Now that I've read one I can definitely agree. Leon's Venice is incredibly atmospheric, filled with beautiful buildings, bridges, and, of course, food. The story moves along with leisurely speed over the more interesting parts and briskly over the necessarily drier parts, like autopsy results. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good murder mystery/police procedural. I can't wait to get the next book in the series, Death in a Strange Country. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Ah, Venice. City of canals. City of murder. But Commissario Brunetti will get his man in the end.

I like stand-up, moral guys who do the right thing, and Brunetti is the Italian version of my favorite lawman, Walt Longmire. Lawful good is my jam, folks. He solves the crime despite his superiors, red herrings, and roadblocks. I was way off on my assumptions, and I liked the resolution. Well plotted and I enjoyed the details.

New series for me. I like Commissario Brunetti and will definitely continue solving crimes with him. ( )
  GovMarley | Aug 6, 2017 |
This mystery was set in Venice and featured detective Guido Brunetti. Brunetti is assigned to investigate when a world-famous conductor is found dead in his dressing room, and poison is found in his coffee. Brunetti goes on to investigate all the usual suspects: the younger wife, the producer, the various singers, an old lover. I liked the character of Brunetti and his wife. It's nice to see a detective in a crime fiction novel happily married. My favorite parts of the book involve Brunetti's discussions with his boss, who is portrayed as particularly dumb. The investigation itself made sense, but wasn't particularly fascinating. A lot of information was collected but not much was relevant to the case. The resolution to the mystery was okay, but I couldn't help but feel the author was being a bit sensational. Certainly a famous man with such habits would have encountered scandal long before he'd reached his advanced age? Or even some gossip? Overall this was a good, satisfying book and I understand why people would enjoy the series. But I don't believe I'll be continuing with this series.
( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Loved it! Happy it's part of a really long series. :) ( )
  cybercarotte | Nov 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donna Leonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Björklund, Ing-BrittTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Desmond, William OlivierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elwenspoek, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frogner, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuente, Ana María de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geer, LídiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gürdal, SinemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ilić, BojanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Machado, Luciano VieiraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mejak, TeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Navarro, KoroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olejniczak-Skarsgå… MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patrum, NenadTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roig, EstherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuurman, TitiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith-Hansen, AstaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tandori, DezsőTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanagienė, JoanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ah, signor, son rea di morte
E la morte io sol vi chiedo;
Il mio fallo tardi vedo;
Con quel ferro un sen ferite
Che non merita pietà.

Ah, sir, I'm guilty to death
And all that I ask is death;
Too late I see my sin;
With your sword pierce this breast
Which merits no pity.

--Così Fan Tutte
For my mother
First words
The third gong, announcing that the opera was about to continue, sounded discreetly through the lobbies and bars of Teatro La Fenice.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006074068X, Paperback)

There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice.

But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:59 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When renowned opera conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, the victim of cyanide poisoning, Guido Brunetti, the Vice Commissario of the Venice police, must sift through several suspects.

» see all 3 descriptions

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