Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
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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. . . .

Publisher: New York : Perennial Dark Alley, 2004, c1992.
Edition: First Dark Alley edition
ISBN: 9780060740689
006074068X
Branch Call Number: M LEON D
Characteristics: 270 pages ; 21 cm.

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d
Dave99_0
Sep 27, 2017

"Death At La Fenice" is the first book in the Commissario Brunetti series. The reader can already see evidence of the Donna Leon writing style: the emphasis on family, relationships, Venetian culture and Italian culture. IMHO, I would rate "Death At La Fenice" at 4.0 stars for a great first effort.

q
QueenSheba_0
Jul 20, 2017

This, the first book in a series about a Venetian detective, is a delightful bonbon. I don't think I'll be able to stop at one.

n
nofasternan
Apr 13, 2017

Streptomycin, among related antibiotics, is known to cause hearing loss, as a side effect.

m
mgackle
Jul 20, 2016

A satisfying whodunnit, the novel exudes a wonderful sense of place, taking readers into the streets of Venice and providing a glimpse inside the opera scene, with all its scandals. I look forward to reading more of Commissario Brunetti!

s
sharon711
Oct 05, 2014

I was actually able to predict the outcome of this story well before the end. However, the sordid reason behind the tale was a surprise. This series was recommended to me and has quite the following. Although I liked the story, I found it a little light and not terribly engrossing. However, I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the series, which I understand improves as it goes on.

d
DorisWaggoner
Aug 17, 2014

I've read several as I could find them from the middle of this wonderful series, and decided to go back to the beginning, which is this book. Leon already has a back story for Commisario Brunetti of the Venetian police, his family, in-laws, co-workers and boss. Brunetti's character is here already, his cynicism about the endemic corruption in his beloved city; his love for the opera of La Fenice, an institution for locals, not tourists; and his love for his English professor wife and their two children. Leon sometimes makes us wait for the crime, but here, it comes at the beginning. The world's best conductor dies during the second intermission, clearly murdered by a method Brunetti's only read about but recognizes immediately. There are, unfortunately, too many suspects to satisfy Brunetti's boss, who wants this crime solved immediately, because it's bad for tourism. Knowing that the solution lies in who the conductor was as a person, Brunetti digs into his past and the people who knew him. A long Brunetti family dinner helps provide an important key to how he approaches the answer to the case. A delicious book. Leon's long series can be a tad uneven, but a second reading of the first book shows her at the top of her form.

s
smworthy
Aug 22, 2012

Not a great book, but it is the first in a large series so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and read a few more. I really liked the italian/venetian references, since I'm familiar with both the language and the place.

shannon40 Aug 13, 2012

This first novel in the Guido Brunetti series shows that Donna Leon had a good grasp of her characters and setting right from the beginning.

b
baylife
Aug 09, 2011

As always the casual acceptance of endemic corruption serves as a background to the frustrations of the hero of the story. Another crime to solve for the charming Brunetti with all the fascinating political, geographical, family and cultural insights into modern day Italian life (and more specifically Venetian life) that Donna Leon weaves into her narratives

p
pokano
Aug 07, 2010

If you read only one Guido Brunetti mystery, this should be the one. Donna Leon's best.

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