Books by Donna Leon

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed, most recently 'Frie


BY ITS COVER by Donna Leon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Brunetti (The Golden Egg, 2013, etc.) spends less time with both his charming family and his highly variable colleagues than usual; and with the exception of Franchini, the characters remain distantly evoked rather than vividly present. This one really is for readers who love books."
A rare-book thief is the target in Commissario Guido Brunetti's 23rd case. Read full book review >
MY VENICE AND OTHER ESSAYS by Donna Leon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 3, 2013

"An uneven collection showing Leon to be a cranky, though sometimes witty and insightful, critic of her times."
An American mystery writer reveals a new character: herself. Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN EGG by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 26, 2013

Commissario Guido Brunetti, the second-sharpest member of the Venetian Questura, investigates the death of a man who barely had a life to begin with. Read full book review >
THE JEWELS OF PARADISE by Donna Leon
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"While lacking some of the warmth of the Brunetti series, Leon's stand-alone still packs the charms of Venice into a smart whodunit."
A veteran mystery maven weaves present-day Venice into a 300-year-old puzzle in this engaging stand-alone. Read full book review >
BEASTLY THINGS by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 17, 2012

The death of an inoffensive veterinarian takes Commissario Guido Brunetti once more into the heart of the human beast. Read full book review >
DRAWING CONCLUSIONS by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2011

"As languid in its movement as a gondola ride. Yet none of Brunetti's earlier cases (About Face, 2009, etc.) is as remorselessly clear in connecting the delicately comic anti-authoritarian gestures Brunetti winks at to the miasma of corruption that hangs over his beloved Venice."
Perhaps the quietest of all Commissario Guido Brunetti's cases concerns a murder that may not even be a murder. Read full book review >
ABOUT FACE by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2009

"On the plus side, there are the usual sharp scenes of Brunetti at work and at home, and a surprisingly warm relationship develops between Brunetti and his hitherto remote father-in-law."
The stench of corruption that always hangs over Venice grows disconcertingly literal when Commissario Guido Brunetti (The Girl of His Dreams, 2008, etc.) gets a case involving the illegal disposal of toxic waste. Read full book review >
THE GIRL OF HIS DREAMS by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 2008

"By no means a model of plot construction, but as heartfelt and moving as Brunetti's best."
Commissario Guido Brunetti, of the Venetian Questura, pursues a pair of very different cases to equally inconclusive ends. Read full book review >
SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 2007

"Not a single murder, but the story would be strong enough without one even without a climactic assault whose only casualty is the characters' moral certitudes."
A baby-snatching leads Commissario Guido Brunetti not to the usual institutional corruption (Through a Glass Darkly, 2006, etc.) but to a more intimate kind of evil. Read full book review >
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 10, 2006

"Even if the path from misdemeanors to monstrous felonies is less inevitable than in Brunetti's best (Blood from a Stone, 2005), Leon shows once more why she has no serious rivals in the art of unfolding mysteries in which the killer's identity is the least interesting detail."
Commissario Guido Brunetti's 15th adventure takes him to a Venetian glassworks where murder is the sordid by-product of beautifully blown baubles. Read full book review >
BLOOD FROM A STONE by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 2005

"Leon's most adroit balance of teasing mystery, Brunetti's droll battles with his co-workers and higher-ups, and intimations of something far deeper and darker behind the curtain."
Commissario Guido Brunetti's 14th case (Doctored Evidence, 2004, etc.) may be his best yet—not that he'd see it that way himself. Read full book review >
DOCTORED EVIDENCE by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2004

"Following Brunetti on the case is like watching drops of water wear away stone, though it's clear there's no hope for the more general petrifaction of Venice that Leon masterfully tracks."
Everyone joined in disliking the victim in Commissario Guido Brunetti's latest case—but who hated her enough to kill her? Read full book review >
UNIFORM JUSTICE by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"A powerful indictment of an Italian society in which "scandal had the same shelf life as fresh fish: by the third day, both were worthless; one because it had begun to stink, the other because it no longer did.""
After half a dozen adventures published abroad, Venice's sorely missed Commissario Guido Brunetti (Acqua Alta, 1996, etc.) returns to American bookshops in the case of the hanged cadet. Read full book review >
ACQUA ALTA by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

Just back from an archeological expedition to China's Xi'an dig, Brett Lynch is relaxing in the apartment of her lover, La Scala diva Flavia Petrelli, when two men knock at the door, matter-of-factly beat her, and warn her not to keep her appointment with Dottore Semenzato, director of the Palazzo Ducale, until recently the Venetian home of Brett's Xi'an finds. Read full book review >

DEATH AND JUDGMENT by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1995

A grim prologue sets the tone for Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti's fourth case (Dressed for Death, 1994, etc.)—even though it takes quite a while to hook up the spectacularly fatal truck crash that opens the novel to the relatively quiet shooting, aboard a Venice-bound train, of former city Counsellor Carlo Trevisan. Read full book review >

DRESSED FOR DEATH by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

You're dressed for death when you're wearing a red dress, red pumps, and red lingerie—especially if you're Leonardo Mascari, director of the Venice branch of the Bank of Verona, fatally beaten in the Venetian suburb of Mestre. Read full book review >

DEATH IN A STRANGE COUNTRY by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 1993

Something different for Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti, whose first case (Death at La Fenice, 1992) so expertly resurrected the closed-circle whodunit. Read full book review >

DEATH AT LA FENICE by Donna Leon
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 1992

Cyanide poisoning during the second-act intermission of La Traviata leaves the eminent conductor Helmut Wellauer dead, survived by a constellation of suspects from prima Flavia Petrelli (whose lesbian liaison with a wealthy American archeologist, Brett Lynch, Wellauer was threatening to expose) to director Franco Santore (furious over Wellauer's refusal to honor a bargain to find a job for Santore's protege)—and including of course Wellauer's suddenly wealthy, and much younger, widow Elizabeth. Read full book review >