A riveting new mystery from international bestseller Donna Leon
Donna Leon?s Commissario Brunetti series has made Venice?a city that?s beautiful and sophisticated, but also secretive and corrupt?one of mystery fans? most beloved locales. In this brilliant new book, Brunetti is summoned to the hospital bed of a respected pediatrician, where he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men had burst into the doctor?s apartment, attacked him, and kidnapped his eighteen-month-old son. What could have motivated an assault so violent that it has left the doctor mute? And could this crime be related to the moneymaking scam run by pharmacists that Brunetti?s colleague has recently uncovered? As Brunetti delves deeper into the case, a story of infertility, desperation, and illegal dealings begins to unfold.
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A New Yorker of Irish/Spanish descent, Donna Leon first went to Italy in 1965, returning regularly over the next decade or so while pursuing a career as an academic in the States and then later in Iran, China and finally Saudi Arabia. It was after a period in Saudi Arabia, which she found ‘damaging physically and spiritually’ that Donna decided to move to Venice, where she has now lived for over twenty years.
Her debut as a crime fiction writer began as a joke: talking in a dressing room in Venice’s opera-house La Fenice after a performance, Donna and a singer friend were vilifying a particular German conductor. From the thought ‘why don’t we kill him?’ and discussion of when, where and how, the idea for Death at La Fenice took shape, and was completed over the next four months.
Donna Leon is the crime reviewer for the London Sunday Times and is an opera expert. She has written the libretto for a comic opera, entitled Dona Gallina. Set in a chicken coop, and making use of existing baroque music, Donna Gallina was premiered in Innsbruck. Brigitte Fassbaender, one of the great mezzo-sopranos of our time, and now head of the Landestheater in Innsbruck, agreed to come out of retirement both to direct the opera and to play the part of the witch Azuneris (whose name combines the names of the two great Verdi villainesses Azucena and Amneris).Review:
"Leon's writing trembles with true feeling." -- Erin Hart
"I struggle to think of other series authors who are as dependable as the excellent Leon." -- Maxine Clarke
"Donna Leon depicts the characters, food, culture, and people of Venice with a knowing eye for 'just the right' detail." -- Jennifer McCord
"One of the best international crime writers . . . and her tales . . . set in Venice are at the apex of continental thrillers." -- Peter Mergendahl
The latest Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery from Donna Leon, whose novels "shimmer in the grace of their setting and are warmed by the charm of their characters"
"Leon's gentle pace allows conversation and atmosphere to develop so full and founded that you can taste the coffee and smell the flowers. . . . You'll want to catch the first plane over there." -- Phillipa Stockley
"Leon uses the relatively small and crime-free canvas of Venice for riffs about Italian life, sexual styles, and--best of all--the kind of ingrown business and political corruption that seems to lurk just below the surface." -- Dick Adler
a Leonas sixteenth Commissario Brunetti mystery is brilliant; she has never become perfunctory, never failed to give us vivid portraits of people and of Venice, never lost her fine, disillusioned indignation.a
aUrsula K. Le Guin, "The New York Times"
a "Suffer the Little Children" . . . is terrific at providing, through its weary but engaging protagonist, a strong sense of the moral quandaries inherent in Italian society and culture.a
a"San Francisco Chronicle"
a Donna Leon is the undisputed crime fiction queen. . . . [Her] ability to capture the cityas social scene and internal politics is first-rate, as always, but this installment carries extra gravity and welcome plot twists that make it one of the seriesa better efforts.a
a"The Baltimore Sun"
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