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Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon
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Through a Glass, Darkly (original 2006; edition 2010)

by Donna Leon

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913239,567 (3.52)29
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Through a Glass, Darkly
Authors:Donna Leon
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Audio books, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Brunetti, ILL, CD, Venice

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Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon (2006)

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English (14)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Commissario Brunetti continues to evolve as a crusader investigating where crimes may occurring before an official crime is reported.

This time on the island of Murano at the glass factories, has there been polluting gone unreported which may have caused a chi8ld to be born with severe defects? When the father who has been making such claims is found dead near one of the glass furnaces, Brunetti sets out to undercover the truth. ( )
  cyderry | Sep 11, 2013 |
Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates pollution from one of the glass factories near Venice. As usual corruption is rife and the book could be depressing, but the author's and her protagonist's love for Venice, food and family offer some measure of cheer. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Although the 15th book in the series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti fighting crime in the Italian city of Venice it is the first one I’ve read. It is chock full of intricate details about life in modern Venice. There are scenes which portray the uniquely Venetian transport chaos of travelling by canal, others which discuss the loss of historic local industries and passages in which Brunetti internally debates how formally to address the people he meets which if not distinctively Italian is at least a particularly European problem. And unlike most other dedicated fictional police officers Brunetti always finds time to eat fabulous meals which is also evocative of Italy (and the reason I don’t recommend you read it when hungry: sheer torture).

Brunetti is the only police officer to be a fully developed character in the book. There’s a superior officer who Brunetti treats as stupid but there’s no real evidence of that stupidity in this book (I assume it’s apparent in one or more of the earlier outings). A couple of Brunetti’s colleagues appear as minor characters but their characters are not particularly well developed. However, as Brunetti doesn’t work the long, hard hours of many of his fictional cohorts he’s got more time to devote to a family so his wife and children are fairly solid characters in the book and his wife in particular is a person I quickly got the feeling I’d like to meet.

As a mystery I have to say this lacks something. There’s a single event that takes place about half way through the book and it’s not until the very last few pages that we find out whether or not it was even a crime. There is a vaguely interesting back story about environmental concerns resulting from Venice’s glass making industry but it’s not really enough to keep a die-hard mystery buff’s eyes glued open. The inclusion of a long passage in which Brunetti and his wife analyse Dante’s Infernoand the way it may, or may not, provide a clue to the case is an example of the largely unrelated content that fills up some of the book.

If you're looking for a fast-paced, page turner this probably isn't for you but if you like thoughtful stories where things other than crime are also important then I’d give it a go. And if you’ve ever been to Venice, or ever wanted to go, then I’d highly recommend you lose yourself in the book for a while: you won’t regret it.
( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is the 15th book in the Commissario Brunetti series, which, aside from the fact that I started with the first book in the series, I've been reading completely out of sequence. In this story, a woman who is the daughter of a glass factory owner on the island of Murano approaches Brunetti because she fears that her father, who detests her husband and has often been heard to remark that he'd like to see his son-in-law dead, might take matters into his own hands and actually kill him. But when a night watchman is killed in that same factory, it becomes apparent that the crime may have been committed because of the man's frequent harangues against the dangers of working in proximity with toxic substances. I enjoyed the descriptions of how glass objects are created in this one and I've been enjoying this series so far. I find it entertaining and quite good on the whole, but can't say it knocks my socks off either. ( )
  Smiler69 | Feb 6, 2011 |
A truly different story for Guido Brunetti.  This one almost more concerned with illegal dumping of dangerous chemicals by the glass making factories in Murano, near Venice then with solving the murder of the night watchman at the factory.  Brunetti, the urbane sophisticate with a professed (and almost disdainful) ignorance of any and all scientific or modern technological information, must get up to speed on glass-making and hazardous waste disposal. While giving the reader short courses on these subjects, she also has Brunetti exploring Dante's Inferno for clues and the juxtaposition of the old with the new, in a centuries old setting, makes for a very different story than previous ones in the series.  Brunetti has always had more of a social conscience than others of his profession, though he seems to take his time acknowledging that. Less food, less banter with Paola, but definitely another well-done episode in a series that continues to delight me. ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Dec 30, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donna Leonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Desmond, William OlivierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuente, Ana María de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mauri i Batlle, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scholten, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seibicke, Christa E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skarbińska-Zielin… AlicjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Da qual tremore insolito
Sento assalir gli spiriti!
Dond'escono quei vortici
Do foco pien d'orror?

What strange fear
Assails my spirits!
Where do they come from,
those horrible whirlwinds of flame?
--Don Giovanni Mozart
Dedication
For Cecilia Bartoli
First words
Brunetti stood at his window and flirted with the springtime.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038060, Mass Market Paperback)

The latest case in Donna Leon’s bestselling Brunetti mystery series—“one of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever” (The Washington Post)

The Philadelphia Inquirer called Leon’s incomparable creation Commissario Guido Brunetti “the most humane sleuth since Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret.” It’s no wonder then that Leon’s legion of fans continues to grow with each new book that’s published. In Through a Glass, Darkly, Brunetti investigates the murder of a night watchman, whose body is found in front of a blazing furnace at Giovanni De Cal’s glass factory along with an annotated copy of Dante’s Inferno. Did the cantankerous De Cal kill him? Will Brunetti make the connection between the work of literature and the murderer in time?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:39 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After coming to the aid of Vianello's old friend, Ribetti, arrested during an environmental protest, Commissario Brunetti becomes concerned about Ribetti's father-in-law, Giovanni De Cal, a nasty factory owner heard making threats against his son-in-law.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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