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A Sea of Troubles (2001)

by Donna Leon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Commissario Brunetti (10)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2293012,137 (3.62)75
When Commissario Brunetti investigates the murder of two local fishermen on the island of Pellestrina, the small community closes ranks, forcing him to accept Signorina Elettra's offer to visit her relatives there to search for clues. Though loyal to his beloved wife, Paola, he must admit that less-than-platonic emotions underlie his concern for his boss's beautiful secretary.… (more)

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» See also 75 mentions

English (23)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Donna Leon is truly reaching her stride as an author as a creator of characters and the problems they must cope with. The book covers the gamut from the relatons between men and women and the dysfunctional nature of governments. Its opening challenge is the murder of a father and son in their boat in the Venetian out island of Pelistrina. Its closing challenge is a major storm that hits that island. In the process Brunetti’s friends and cowokers face life altering events.
Certainly I feel I know Brunetti better now by far.
Curiously I am about to start a book by Don DeLillo that also takes place in Pelistrina. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Oct 27, 2020 |
Nach dem Tod von zwei Fischern sind alle im Dorf so verschlossen wie verdorbene Vongole. Der Commissario gibt dennoch nicht auf. Den Amtsweg ist Brunetti noch nie gegangen, doch diesmal bringen seine Methoden die halbe Questura in Gefahr.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
Two clam fisherman, father and son, die in a terrible fire on their fishing boat while moored on the island of Pallestrina, which borders the Venetian lagoon. Although the deaths appear to be accidental, the coroner determines that the men had been murdered before the fire. It’s clear that Commissario Brunetti and his team aren’t going to get any information from the Pallestrinans. Signorina Elettra, secretary to Brunetti’s boss, has relatives on the island, and she insists on going “undercover” to see what she can find out about the murders. Brunetti’s worries about the signorina’s safety raises questions from his wife, Paola.

This isn’t one of the best books in the series. Leon spends more time discussing the environmental and health impact of clam fishing in Venice’s lagoon than she devotes to the investigation of the crime. Brunetti really doesn’t solve the case. He just happens to be in the right place at the right time to apprehend the killer.

I listened to this book on a road trip with a friend. We decided that the recurring characters reminded us of the characters in the classic TV series WKRP in Cincinnati, with Brunetti as program director Andy, Signorina Elettra as office paragon, Jennifer, and Brunetti’s clueless boss, Patta, as station manager Mr. Carlson. The book seemed more entertaining in that light! ( )
  cbl_tn | Jun 17, 2019 |
When Patta goes on vacation, Signorina Elletra decides to vacation on Pellestrina. A fishing boat exploded in the island's harbor, and the islanders are very closed about what's going on. Brunetti who was not placed in charge while Patta was out of town ends up in charge because the other man had jury duty. Brunetti is concerned about Elletra's friendship with a man on the island. A few too many loose ends and too little real investigation mar this installment. I listened to the audio version narrated by David Colacci. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jun 16, 2019 |
Synopsis: Two fishermen are murdered and their boat is burned to the waterline. Brunetti can't get much out of the people who live on the island, but Signorina Electora has family there. She volunteers to see if she can get some answers, and in the process, falls in love.
Review: The ending was rather expected, but the story is good. ( )
  DrLed | Dec 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leon, Donnaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elwenspoek, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Awards and honors
Soave sia il vento
Tranquilla sia l'onda
Ed ogni elemento
Benigno risponda
Ai vostri desirl

Gentle be the breeze,
calm be the waves,
and every element
respond kindly
to your desires.

--Così fan tutte
for Rudolf C. Bettschart and Daniel Keel
First words
Pellestrina is a long, narrow peninsula of sand that has, over the course of the centuries, been turned into habitable ground.
(Paola and Guido are talking about Elettra)
"Will Elettra get over it?" "I don't know," Brunetti demurred, then added, surprising himself, "I don't really know her that well."
Paola gave this a great deal of thought and finally answered, "We never do know them well, do we?"
"Real people."
"What do you mean, 'real people'?"
"As opposed to people in books," Paola explained. "They're the only ones we ever really know well , or know truly." Again she gave him a moment to consider, then said, "Maybe that's because they're the only ones about whom we get reliable information." She glanced at him, then added, as she would to a class, just to see if they were following, "Narrators never lie."
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When Commissario Brunetti investigates the murder of two local fishermen on the island of Pellestrina, the small community closes ranks, forcing him to accept Signorina Elettra's offer to visit her relatives there to search for clues. Though loyal to his beloved wife, Paola, he must admit that less-than-platonic emotions underlie his concern for his boss's beautiful secretary.

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Book description
The murder of two clam fishermen off the island of Pellestrina, south of the Lido on the Venetian lagoon, draws Commissario Brunetti into the island's close-knit community, bound together by a code of loyalty and a suspicion of outsiders worthy of the Mafia. When the Questore's secretary Signorina Elettra volunteers to visit the island, where she has relatives, Brunetti finds himself torn between his duty to solve the murders, concerns for Elettra's safety, and his not entirely straightforward feelings for her.
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Average: (3.62)
1 3
1.5 1
2 10
2.5 5
3 83
3.5 30
4 101
4.5 6
5 31

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