A very good procedural mystery: not a lot of action and gore, but a step by step investigation of a death by poisoning of a well known conductor at La Fenice during intermission. Well written: the characters are well potrayed and the relationship between them is described well. I think what I enjoyed most was the description of Venice, working in Venice, the atmosphere, and the description of how Italians speak and think (little details such as the description of Mina and what happened to her,for example). Good read.
First Guido Brunetti, Venetian police commissario mystery. A world-famous conductor is found dead in his dressing room between the second and third acts of an opera at La Fenice opera house. Poisoned with arsenic, and with plenty of suspects, it's up to Brunetti to sift through all the details to find the culprit. Well done, enjoyed the ambience of Venice as well as the main character and his wife, although the mystery was easily solved long before the end.
This was the first Donna Leon I read. I enjoyed this murder mystery set in Venice. The main character, Commissario Guido Brunetti, is the solo policeman in this story. His team is not included in the story in any great detail -- his family actually plays a greater part. Although I had guessed the who-done-it at about the 2/3s point it was not completely evident until the final chapter. I enjoyed the character's very level and even keel handling of matters of the heart -- he was not judgemental about relationships that were not mainstream (e.g. homosexuality). I would recommend this book for all because the murder was not detailed in a gruesome manner, sex was not exploited, and all topics were handled 'cleanly'.
Was a good "who done it". Set in Italy, and based around the Opera it made for an interesting setting. A perfect murder mystery with twists and turns keeping the reader guessing. The ending was perfect, I am surprised I didn't figure it out.
This is very light reading with some thoroughly likeable characters and a must-read for anyone who has been in Venice or anyone who would like to go there. It is quite descriptive and not a good choice for someone who likes a fast-paced plot. Donna Leon is very popular in Europe and not just because of the setting.
I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series. It's intelligently written and the characters and plot hold your interest. If you've ever been to Venice, the author's many local references will make you smile remembering. If you haven't been to Venice, she evokes the mood and makes you feel you are right there.
Eh. I don't get the fuss about this series. I found it too be a bit tedious and way too repetitive. The characters were a little too one-dimensional. Although I enjoyed the setting in Venice. Made me feel like I was back there.
Bob W. reviewed Death At La Fenice (Guido Brunetti, Bk 1) on
It's OK, but my taste goes to more action packed high adventure type of story. Guido Brunetti is just an honest cop doing his best to get the job done in a real world atmosphere. I'd read another one, but, I'm not sure I would read the whole series.
This is the opening book in the long-running Guido Brunetti series of Donna Leon. Brunetti is called to the opera house because the conductor has been poisoned before the final act.
The author takes on an interesting tour of Venice and its culture, through the eyes of someone who has lived there a long time and loves the place (but not the tourists). This first book speaks to the humanity of the main character -- Guido Brunetti.
First in a series and I liked it a lot. Set in Venice, the description of the streets, alleys, plazas are so well written you feel like you're walking down them with Vice-Commissario of police Guido Brunetti. Her characters are well drawn - you can see them in your mind's eye. Am anxious to read the next book in this series to see what's going to happen next.