Books by Donna Leon
“These are probably the most read books set in Venice. She’s written about 25 of them. They’re all exactly the same. It’s always terribly hot or terribly cold. They revolve entirely around Brunetti, our hero, going back for lunch with his wife, with whom he is very much in love, and having a quick brandy while she does the washing up, and then stomping off back to the Prefettura to do some essential police business. I think it’s really easy to go to Venice and not believe anything’s happening there. I think what’s exciting about those books is that they give you a very believable, compelling idea of something that is happening. Italians love uniforms and there are a lot of policemen and different types of police launches in Venice. She brings to life the idea of civil Venice, and to a degree also of a darkness and a world of crime, drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and all sorts of the world’s ills which don’t exclude Venice. Brunetti is a most sympathetic hero who one can only identify with” Read more...
Matthew Rice, Artists & Art Critic
Transient Desires: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
by Donna Leon
Transient Desires is the 30th book in a series by Donna Leon featuring Guido Brunetti, a police chief in Venice, Italy. These are not fast-paced thrillers but move slowly, evocative of a rather melancholic city in decline. The quality of the books goes up and down—as you would expect from a series that has been going on for this many years—but this one, Transient Desires, is a good one. You end up really caring about the crime and wanting to see it punished. You will also be spending some time living in Italy—going home for lunch with Brunetti, having coffees around Venice, musing on the differences between Neapolitans and Venetians, surrounded, as everywhere in public service, with budget cuts.
Unto Us a Son Is Given
by Donna Leon
When visiting a city, it's a lot of fun to read a detective novel set there. The Commissario Brunetti series, written by American crime writer (and longtime Venice resident) Donna Leon, is a good one to read if you're planning a trip to Venice. Unto Us a Son is Given is no. 28 in the series.
Interviews where books by Donna Leon were recommended
The best books on Venice, recommended by Matthew Rice
Venice once ruled an empire that stretched across the eastern Mediterranean, but by the early modern period was already evolving into a city whose greatest claim to fame was as a tourist destination. Here Matthew Rice, author and illustrator of Venice: A Sketchbook Guide, recommends books to read about Venice and its history and architecture, as well as a couple of crime thrillers to read while you’re there.