New Release Books by Donna Leon

Donna Leon is the author of Give Unto Others (2023), Transient Desires (2021), So Shall You Reap (2023), Through a Glass Darkly (2022) and other 156 books.

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Give Unto Others

release date: Mar 14, 2023
Give Unto Others
**An Instant New York Times Bestseller** Brunetti is forced to confront the price of loyalty, to his past and in his work, as a seemingly innocent request leads him into troubling waters What role can or should loyalty play in the life of a police inspector? It''s a question Commissario Guido Brunetti must face and ultimately answer in Give unto Others, Donna Leon''s splendid thirty-first installment of her acclaimed Venetian crime series. Brunetti is approached for a favor by Elisabetta Foscarini, a woman he knows casually, but her mother was good to Brunetti''s mother, so he feels obliged to at least look into the matter privately, and not as official police business. Foscarini''s son-in-law, Enrico Fenzo, has alarmed his wife (her daughter) by confessing their family might be in danger because of something he''s involved with. Since Fenzo is an accountant, Brunetti logically suspects the cause of danger is related to the finances of a client. Yet his clients seem benign: an optician, a restaurateur, a charity established by his father-in-law. However, when his friend''s daughter''s place of work is vandalized, Brunetti asks his own favors--that his colleagues Claudia Griffoni, Lorenzo Vianello, and Signorina Elettra Zorzi assist his private investigation, which soon enough turns official as they uncover the dark and Janus-faced nature of a venerable Italian institution. Exploring the wobbly line between the criminal and non-criminal, revealing previously untold elements of Brunetti''s past, Give unto Others shows that the price of reciprocity can be steep.

Transient Desires

release date: Mar 09, 2021
Transient Desires
In the landmark thirtieth installment of the bestselling series the New Yorker has called “an unusually potent cocktail of atmosphere and event,” Guido Brunetti is forced to confront an unimaginable crime In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joy riding in the Laguna with two young Italians. However, Brunetti’s curiosity is aroused by the behavior of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital. If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it? As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. To get to the bottom of what proves to be a gut-wrenching case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Costiera. Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are technologically brilliant and ruthlessly organized. Donna Leon’s Transient Desires is as powerful as any novel she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits and forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.

So Shall You Reap

release date: Mar 09, 2023

Through a Glass Darkly

release date: Sep 22, 2022
Through a Glass Darkly
''Leon...has once again, apparently effortlessly, produced a wholly absorbing read.'' Sunday Telegraph It is a luminous spring day in Venice, as Commissario Brunetti and Inspettore Vianello take a break from the Questura to come to the rescue of Vianello''s friend Marco Ribetti, who has been arrested while protesting against chemical pollution of the Venetian lagoon, only to be faced by the fury of Marco''s father-in-law, owner of a glass factory on the island of Murano. But it is not Marco who has uncovered the guilty secret of the polluting glass foundries of the island of Murano, nor he whose body is found dead in front of the furnaces which burn at 1400 degrees, night and day. The victim has left clues in a copy of Dante and Brunetti must descend into an inferno to discover who is burning the land and fouling the waters of the lagoon... ''As usual, Leon''s witty portrayal of modern Venetian life, and Brunetti''s model marriage, are as entertaining as the working out of the whodunnit. A joy from start to finish.'' Evening Standard ''A smart and stylish, fast-paced case of intrigue and corruption, written with wit, affection and authority. . . . Impressive.'' Los Angeles Times

Trace Elements

release date: Mar 03, 2020
Trace Elements
The New York Times–bestselling author of Unto Us a Son Is Given continues “one of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever” (The Washington Post). When a dying hospice patient gasps that her husband was murdered over “bad money,” Commissario Brunetti softly promises he and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that the man had worked in the field, collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice’s water supply, and that he had recently died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Piecing together the tangled threads, Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman’s accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be when he reads Aeschylus’s classic play The Eumenides. Praise for Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti Mysteries “[Leon] has never become perfunctory, never failed to give us vivid portraits of people and of Venice, never lost her fine, disillusioned indignation.” —Ursula K. LeGuin, author of Dancing at the Edge of the World “You become so wrapped up in these compelling characters. . . . Each one is better than the last.” —Louise Erdrich, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction “Leon’s Venetian mysteries never disappoint, calling up the romantic sights and sounds of La Serenissima even as they acquaint us with the practical matters that concern the city’s residents.” —The New York Times Book Review “The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti, with his love of food and his loving family, proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities.” —The Wall Street Journal

Unto Us a Son Is Given

release date: Mar 01, 2020
Unto Us a Son Is Given
For the 28th novel in Donna Leon''s bestselling mystery series, the apparent indiscretion of an elderly family friend involves a reluctant Commissario Guido Brunetti . . . until the sudden natural death of his friend sets in motion a murder

The Temptation of Forgiveness

release date: Mar 20, 2018
The Temptation of Forgiveness
The New York Times–bestselling series transports us to “Donna Leon’s enticing, troubled and beautiful Venice . . . Her latest mystery is one of her best” (Providence Journal). A New York Times Book Review Best Crime Book of the Year • A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A Financial Times Summer Book Pick • A Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine Most Anticipated Mystery of the Year Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised by the appearance of a friend of his wife’s, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene. When the woman’s husband is found unconscious with a serious brain injury at the foot of a bridge in Venice after midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behavior. But the truth, as Brunetti has experienced so often, is not straightforward. While Brunetti pursues several false and contradictory leads, he becomes exasperated by the petty bureaucracy that constantly bedevils him and threatens to expose Signorina Elettra, his superior’s secretary. But steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics, he reads Sophocles’s Antigone, and, in its light, considers the terrible consequences to which the actions of a tender heart can lead. “It’s the living, bleeding humanity of the characters that makes Donna Leon’s police procedurals so engaging. . . . Tagging along after this sleuth is a wonderful way to see Venice like a native.” ―The New York Times Book Review “[A] droll and intelligent series.” ―The Wall Street Journal “[A] richly rewarding series . . . from a master of character-rich crime fiction.” ―Booklist

Earthly Remains

release date: Apr 04, 2017
Earthly Remains
A moody mystery set in Italy from the New York Times–bestselling author: “One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.” —The Washington Post Guido Brunetti has to deal every day with crimes big and small, suffocating corruption, and a never-ending influx of tourists. But at least he gets to do it in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In this mystery in the bestselling series, the police commissioner’s endurance will truly be tested. During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break. Granted leave from the Questura, he accompanies his wife to a villa on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History. That is until the caretaker of the house, a widowed beekeeper, goes missing following a sudden storm, and Brunetti must set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to a man who had become a friend. From a Silver Dagger Award–winning author, this is a poignant novel featuring Guido Brunetti, “a superb police detective—calm, deliberate, and insightful” (Library Journal).

The Waters of Eternal Youth

release date: Mar 08, 2016
The Waters of Eternal Youth
The twenty-fifth mystery in the New York Times–bestselling series “is cause for celebration. . . . Leon brilliantly exposes the corrupt world of Venice” (Bay Area Reporter). At a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness asks Brunetti if he will investigate the fifteen-year-old attempted drowning of her granddaughter, which left the girl irreparably brain damaged. Brunetti’s not sure what to do, but out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman—who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend—he agrees. Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood and the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation to housing to new waves of African migrants, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series. “Donna Leon’s Venetian mysteries never disappoint . . . A bittersweet story that makes us appreciate Brunetti’s philosophical take on the indignities, insanities, and cruelties of life.” —The New York Times Book Review “A new Brunetti adventure is always worth celebrating. . . . In a marvelous and moving last scene, we glimpse a moment of almost transcendent beauty that makes us realize again how important this series is to our reading lives.” —Booklist (starred review) “Leon’s latest novel marks the 25th anniversary of her wonderfully atmospheric series. . . . A sweet poignancy flows through Leon’s narrative like the faint smell of chrysanthemums bordering the ancient palazzos.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Rush On, Mercury (air/ire/exp)

release date: Mar 03, 2020
Rush On, Mercury (air/ire/exp)
A woman''s cryptic dying words in a Venetian hospice lead Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region in Donna Leon''s haunting twenty-ninth Brunetti novel. When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. ''They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no'', Benedetta Toso gasps the words about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto. Even though he is not sure she can hear him Brunetti softly promises he and Griffoni will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that Fadalto worked in the field collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice''s water supply and that he had died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Distracted briefly by Vice Questore Patta''s obsession with youth crime in Venice, Brunetti is bolstered once more by the remarkable research skills of Patta''s secretary, Signora Elettra Zorzi. Piecing together the tangled threads, in time Brunetti comes to realize the perilous meaning in the woman''s accusation and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be when, seeking solace, he reads Aeschylus''s classic play The Eumenides. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.

Gondola

release date: Mar 10, 2015
Gondola
The international bestselling author delivers “a delightful look at the gondola as cultural icon, marvel of construction and object of romance and mystery” (Judith Malafronte, Opera News). Of all the trademarks of Venice—and there are many, from the gilded Basilica of San Marco to the melancholy Bridge of Sighs—none is more ubiquitous than the gondola. In Gondola, the acclaimed “American with the Venetian heart,” tells the fascinating story of this famous boat, complete with gorgeous full-color illustrations (The Washington Post). First used in medieval Venice as a deftly maneuverable getaway boat, the gondola evolved over the centuries into a floating pleasure palace, bedecked in silk, that facilitated the romantic escapades of the Venetian elite. Sumptuary laws turned it black—a gleaming, elegant hue for a boat manned by robust gondolieri in their iconic black-and-white-striped shirts and straw hats. Each boat is carefully fashioned in a maestro’s workshop—though Leon also recounts a tale of an American friend who attempted to make a gondola all on his own. Once its arched prow pushes off from the dock, the single Venetian at its oar just might break out in a barcarole, the popular songs sung by gondolieri. Please note this ebook edition does not include audio recordings.

Death at La Feniche

release date: Oct 08, 2019
Death at La Feniche
In the first book in the internationally bestselling Guido Brunetti detective series, a high society murder leads Guido to investigate the darker side of beautiful Venice. Now available as a limited Olive Edition from Harper Perennial. “[Leon] has never become perfunctory, never failed to give us vivid portraits of people and of Venice, never lost her fine, disillusioned indignation.”―Ursula K. LeGuin, New York Times There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice. But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one.

By Its Cover

release date: Jan 02, 2015
By Its Cover
When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn''t quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library''s regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library''s chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone.

A Question of Belief

release date: Apr 16, 2019
A Question of Belief
"A stunning novel, the best of this brilliant series, with a twist at the end that will leave even the most sophisticated reader gasping."--Globe and Mail

Falling in Love

release date: Mar 10, 2016
Falling in Love
In Death at La Fenice, Donna Leonâe(tm)s first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italyâe(tm)s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli âe" then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca. As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers. But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses âe" on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment âe" it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker. Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help. Familiar with Flaviaâe(tm)s melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flaviaâe(tm)s fears may be justified. In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.

Death and Judgment

release date: Jan 14, 2014
Death and Judgment
Venice’s Commissario Brunetti takes on his “most difficult and politically sensitive case to date” in the gripping New York Times–bestselling series (Booklist). In Death and Judgment, a truck crashes and spills its dangerous cargo on a treacherous road in the Italian Dolomite mountains. Meanwhile, in Santa Lucia, a prominent international lawyer is found dead aboard an intercity train. Suspecting a connection between the two tragedies, Brunetti digs deep for an answer, stumbling upon a seedy Venetian bar that holds the key to a crime network that reaches far beyond the laguna. But it will take another violent death in Venice before Brunetti and his colleagues begin to understand what is really going on. “No one is more graceful and accomplished than Leon.” —The Washington Post “The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti, with his love of food and his loving family, proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities.” —The Wall Street Journal “[Brunetti’s] humane police work is disarming, and his ambles through the city are a delight.” —The New York Times Book Review “The heady atmosphere of Venice and a galaxy of fully realized characters enrich this intriguing and finally horrifying tale.” —Publishers Weekly “The first of Leon’s books to knit together all her strengths: endearing detective, jaundiced social pathology, and a paranoid eye for plotting on a grand scale.” —Kirkus Reviews

My Venice

release date: Dec 03, 2013
My Venice
A collection of “entertaining . . . unapologetically opinionated” essays from the New York Times–bestselling author of the Commissario Guido Brunetti novels (The New York Times). Donna Leon has won legions of fans and waves of critical acclaim for her international bestselling mystery series featuring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti—not only for her intricate plots and gripping narratives, but for her insight into the culture, politics, family-life, and history of Venice. But outside of her mystery novels, Leon has also been writing essays on Venetian life and related topics for years. In My Venice and Other Essays, the best of these essays are collected: more than fifty charming and insightful works ranging in topic from battles over garbage in the canals to the troubles with rehabbing Venetian real estate. Leon shares episodes from her life, explores her love of opera, and recounts tales from in and around her country house in the mountains. With pointed observations and humor, she also explores her family history, her former life in New Jersey, and the idea of the “Italian man.” Sure to please longtime Leon fans as well as anyone who appreciates the wit and wisdom of a master wordsmith, this volume offers “an intriguing glimpse at the strong views of an exceptionally interesting and entertaining novelist” (The Seattle Times).

My Venice and Other Essays

release date: Dec 03, 2013
My Venice and Other Essays
The author of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series presents more than fifty humorous, passionate, and insightful essays about her life in Venice that also explore her family history, her former life in New Jersey, and the idea of the Italian man.

The Golden Egg

release date: Apr 02, 2013
The Golden Egg
A New York Times bestseller: “Brunetti amply displays the keen intelligence and wry humor that has endeared this series to so many.” —Publishers Weekly Commissario Brunetti’s latest assignment is to look into a minor shop-keeping violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife comes to him with a request of her own. The sweet, simple-minded man who worked at their dry cleaner has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him. Brunetti begins to investigate and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no passport, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. Stranger still, the dead man’s mother refuses to speak to the police. And as secrets unravel, Brunetti begins to suspect that an aristocratic family might be somehow connected to the mystery . . . “Leon’s success . . . is testament to the heartening fact that character counts in crime fiction.” —Booklist, starred review

The Jewels of Paradise

release date: Oct 02, 2012
The Jewels of Paradise
The New York Times–bestselling author of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series takes readers beyond the Venice police force in her first standalone novel. Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she’s had to leave home to pursue her career. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Manchester, England. Manchester, however, is no Venice. When Caterina gets word of a position back home, she jumps at the opportunity. The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks—believed to contain the papers of a baroque composer—have been discovered. Deeply connected in religious and political circles, the composer died childless; now, two Venetians, descendants of his cousins, each claim the inheritance. Caterina’s job is to examine any enclosed papers to discover the “testamentary disposition” of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions, she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold. From a masterful writer, The Jewels of Paradise is a superb novel, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history, and greed. “Commissario Brunetti is allowed to take a vacation once in a while, but only if his replacements are as wry and erudite as Caterina.” —The Washington Post “Fascinating . . . Boasts the same sensitivity to human behavior that distinguishes her Guido Brunetti series.” —Booklist “A veteran mystery maven weaves present-day Venice into a 300-year-old puzzle in this engaging stand-alone . . . Packs the charms of Venice into a smart whodunit.” —Kirkus Reviews “Elegant prose, with humorous, wonderfully detailed descriptions as seen through the eyes of her heroine.” —Opera News

Death in a Strange Country

release date: Jul 30, 2015
Death in a Strange Country
''Brunetti ... long ago joined the ranks of the classic fictional detectives.'' Evening Standard __________________________________ Early one morning Guido Brunetti, Commissario of the Venice Police, confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young man is fished out of a fetid Venetian canal. All the clues point to a violent mugging, but for Brunetti, robbery seems altogether too convenient a motive. Then something very incriminating is discovered in the dead man''s flat - something which points to the existence of a high-level cabal - and Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody, somewhere, is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime ...

Death at La Fenice

release date: Jul 30, 2015
Death at La Fenice
''A splendid series . . . with a backdrop of the city so vivid you can almost smell it.'' The Sunday Telegraph Winner of the Suntory Mystery Fiction Grand Prize The twisted maze of Venice''s canals has always been shrouded in mystery. Even the celebrated opera house, La Fenice, has seen its share of death ... but none so horrific and violent as that of world-famous conductor, Maestro Helmut Wellauer, who was poisoned during a performance of La Traviata. Even Commissario of Police, Guido Brunetti, used to the labyrinthine corruptions of the city, is shocked at the number of enemies Wellauer has made on his way to the top - but just how many have motive enough for murder? The beauty of Venice is crumbling. But evil is one thing that will never erode with age. ''What a ripping first mystery, as beguiling and secretly sinister as Venice herself. Sparkling and irresistible.'' Rita Mae Brown ''Donna Leon has given fans of subtle, clever and literate mysteries something to cheer about. . . . A wonderful read.'' Tony Hillerman

Donna Leon Costco Assort

release date: Nov 18, 2013
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