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Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon

Blood from a Stone (original 1999; edition 2006)

by Donna Leon

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1,016278,374 (3.57)38
Title:Blood from a Stone
Authors:Donna Leon
Info:Arrow Books Ltd (2006), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, plw
Tags:fiction, venice, crime, brunetti, Rplw12, wgs

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Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon (1999)



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English (21)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Donna Leon's books are more than just police procedurals books that take place in Venice. They always, in my experience, deal with an issue confronting Italy and there's always a sub-current of corruption. In this book, she tackles the difficult subject of street peddlers, quasi-immigrants from Africa who buy knock-off bags cheap and then resell them to tourists.

Two American tourists, both physicians, see an immigrant, ostensibly from Sierra Leone, assassinated in the square. The case, as you might suspect, revolves around the sale of "blood" diamonds. The characters, now familiar after having read at least 10 in the series, are used by Leon as springboards to focus on an issue in addition to the ubiquitous Italian corruption.

The Leon books will not please readers who prefer chases, gun shots, and action. If you like characterization, fine writing, and intriguing stories, I recommend this series highly. Well read by David Colacci although he will never replace Anna Fields, aka Kate Fleming. ( )
  ecw0647 | Feb 25, 2015 |
I read this book after vacationing and loving Venice. Inspector Brunetti investigates the murder of a Vuo Compra - one of the Africans that illegally sells knock-off purses in the streets. I found the book a fun read because while we were in Italy, a police officer yelled at us for browsing the conterfeit sunglasses. Of course since I don't speak Italian, he might have been commenting about something else... I loved the description of Venice - the places, food, people - but I found the plot a bit weak. Perfect book to get you in the mood if you are traveling to Italy. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
In these mysteries, set in Venice, what is most interesting is not the plot, although this one keeps your interest all through the book, it's the atmosphere, the relationships, the ups and downs of the professional and personal life of Commissario Brunetti. The story is set right before Christmas in a rainy and grey Venice where shadows are pulling strings behind the scenes and the death of a street vendor is everything but simple. We get the usual mix of what makes a good Donna Leon book: family connections, social issues that we can relate to and Venice not as a pretty postcard but as a living, breathing city. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 6, 2013 |
I learned that I prefer reading Leon's books to listening to them. The pace seemed very slow, and I kept dozing off. I'll go back to reading about Commissario Brunetti, which I've always found quite enjoyable. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
This story turns a magnifying glass on the plight as well as the ethics of illegal immigration. A seemingly innocuous man from Senegal is gunned down while selling his knockoff hand bags in a public square. He is like a ghost because no one knows his name, or where he lives or what lead to his murder. Commissario Guido Brunetti probes into the man and his life but learns little that isn't conjecture or speculation.

The story takes place at Christmas time and the background of how this holiday is celebrated is interesting. There is a lot of discussions about the place for and the treatment of people who are strangers from another place. In this particular situation the Senegalese are polite well mannered street vendors for the most part and thus the authorities leave them alone. But there are strong feelings from those whose livelihood is threatened by those who peddle without paying taxes and all the other fees for a business. If it was a Venetian who was selling on the streets they would be arrested in a flash the the conundrum of the double standard is well explored. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Weil ein Schwarzer hässlich ist.
Ist mir denn kein Herz gegeben?
Bin ich nicht von Fleisch und Blut?
Thus a Blackmoor is considered ugly.
Didn't I receive a heart as well?
Aren't I made of flesh and blood?

--Mozart, Die Zauberflöte
"for Gesine Lübben"
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Two men passed under the wooden arch that led into Campo Santo Stefano, their bodies harlequined by the coloured Christmas lights suspended above them.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014303698X, Mass Market Paperback)

Guido Brunetti, the protagonist of Donna Leon's brilliant series about crime in high and low places in Venice, Italy, is back in a smart thriller about a murdered street vendor, one of the illegal immigrants who sell fake fashion accessories outside the tourist mecca's high-priced boutiques while trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Someone had a reason for wanting the nameless African man dead, and the search for the killers and the men who sent them to Brunetti's beloved and beautifully evoked city shortly before Christmas leads the thoughtful, multifaceted and uxorious Commissario to the unfamiliar Venetian milieu where the vu cumpra live. In the cramped, airless room where the Senegalese vendors manage to find shelter, Guido discovers a fortune in so-called "conflict diamonds" hidden among the murdered man's meager belongings. But finding the diamonds' provenance and the killers who were seeking them proves to be an exercise in bureaucratic misdirection. Warned off the case by his boss in the name of "national security," Guido nonetheless persists with his investigation, in the course of which he discovers what--and who--really matters to him. Leon depicts the city she also clearly loves with such skill the reader can almost hear the watter lapping at the edges of the canals and smell the espresso beans roasting in the crisp cold winter air. A tour de force from an author whose reputation for skillful plotting, extraordinary descriptive powers, and complex characters has earned her a loyal base of fans; if you haven't discovered her work before this, Blood from a Stone will only whet your appetite for her extensive backlist of titles featuring Brunetti and his colleagues. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo Santo Stefano. The closest witnesses to the event are the American tourists who had been browsing the man's wares - fake designer handbags - before his death. The dead man had been working as a vu cumpra, one of the many African immigrants peddling goods outside normal shop hours and trading without work permits." "Commissario Brunetti's response is that of everybody involved: Why would anyone kill an illegal immigrant? Because these workers have few social connections and little money, infighting seems to be the answer. And yet the killings have all the markings of a professional operation. Once Brunetti begins to investigate this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the secretive society." "While his wife, Paola, struggles to come to terms with their young daughter's prejudices about the immigrants, Brunetti finds that his own police force shares many of the same biases. Warned by Patta, his superior, to desist from further involvement in the case, Brunetti only becomes more determined to unearth the truth. How far will Brunetti be able to penetrate the murky subculture of Venice's illegal community? And how high does the corruption reach into the upper echelons of Brunetti's own world and the world at large?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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