A few words about book's author
Donna Leon,who was born in New Jersey, has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her mysteries featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti include (in order of publication) Death at La Fenice, Death in a Strange Country; Dressed for Death; Death and Judgment; Acqua Alta; Quietly in Their Sleep; A Noble Radiance; Fatal Remedies; Friends in High Places; A Sea of Troubles; Willful Behavior; Uniform Justice; Doctored Evidence; Blood from a Stone; Through a Glass, Darkly; Suffer the Little Children; The Girl of His Dreams; About Face; A Question of Belief, and Drawing Conclusions.
Donna Leons love affair with Italy began in the mid-1960s when she visited for the first time. She returned frequently over the course of the next decade, while working as a teacher in such far-flung paces as Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran, and China. In the 1980s, the New Jersey native made the decision to move to Venice, where she still lives. Leons writing career began accidentally. One evening, following a performance at Venices famous opera house, Teatro La Fenice, Leon and some friends were discussing a certain conductor they all heartily disliked. Someone jokingly suggested killing him off; and when the conversation turned to how, where, and why, suddenly the idea for a dandy murder mystery took shape in Leons mind. Published in 1992, Death at La Fenice introduced Commissario Guido Brunetti, the melancholy Venetian policeman who would go on to star in a series of witty, intelligently plotted, and critically acclaimed detective novels. Brunetti is, indeed, one of the most appealing characters in crime fiction, and one of the pleasures of the series is the revelation of new and surprising facets to his personality. Intellectual, introspective, and world weary, he is also happily married, totally committed to his job, and a lover of classical music, good food, and jokes. But, above all, Guido Brunetti is Venetian to the bone — born into and shaped by a society filled with cultural contradictions. Through her detectives eyes, Leon illuminates the central paradox of Venice: Beneath the ravishing beauty and civilized veneer lurks a core of insidious and utterly pervasive corruption. Brunettis cynicism stems from his inability to stem the tide — although, bless his heart, he never stops trying. Elegant writing, deft characterization, and lots of local color elevate the Brunetti novels above run-of-the-mill series, and Leons reputation has grown with each installment. But although her books are international bestsellers, they have never been translated into Italian. The author explained why in an interview with National Public Radio: I do not take any pleasure whatsoever in being a famous person. The tenor of my life would change if these books were translated into Italian, because Im completely anonymous here. Anonymous in Venice, perhaps. Elsewhere, Donna Leon is a rock star!
Good To Know
An opera buff with a passion for baroque music, Leon has written the libretto for a comic opera entitled Dona Gallina. For a few years, Leon reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Times. In Germany, several of the Commissario Brunetti novels have been adapted into television mini-series. A woman of strong opinions, Leon reads voraciously for topical issues to use in her novels. Among the serious matters she has written about are industrial pollution, human trafficking, illegal adoption, and corruption in the Catholic Church.