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Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti) [Paperback]

Donna Leon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

26 Feb 2009 Brunetti (Book 14)

On a cold night shortly before Christmas, an immigrant street vendor is killed in Venice's Campo Santo Stefano. The nearest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death - fake handbags of every designer label - but they have seen nothing that might be of much help to the police.

When Commissario Brunetti arrives on the scene, he finds it hard to understand why anyone would murder an illegal immigrant. They have few social connections and little money; in-fighting among them is the obvious answer. But once Brunetti begins investigating this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake in the immigrant community...


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Blood From A Stone: (Brunetti) + Through a Glass Darkly: (Brunetti) + Suffer the Little Children: (Brunetti)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (26 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099536544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099536543
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Through A Glass, Darkly, Suffer the Little Children, The Girl of His Dreams, and most recently, About Face.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The latest of Donna Leon's novels about principled Venetian cop Brunetti, Blood from a Stone is one of her timeliest. Two mysterious white men carry out a professional hit on one of the Somali traders who illegally hawk counterfeit luggage in a local square, and for some reason, Brunetti's superiors are remarkably keen that the case be left unsolved. Is this mere casual institutional racism, or something even more sinister? Brunetti, like many other fictional policemen, has no particular gift for obedience to unreasonable orders, and has also a left-wing academic wife to prod his already active conscience. Donna Leon is not usually as political as she is here; this is one of her more biting thrillers in its indictment of international trade and the security state.

Brunetti has rarely been this melancholy--this is a thriller set in the dead of a Venice winter, and the cold, wet winds eat into our bones as we read. ---Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The thoughtful and charming [Brunetti] is on top form . . . His nicely balanced world . . . is cumulatively engrossing. In this domestic detail, Leon roots the power of the ordinary, moral individual" (Sunday Times)

"Leon writes with great literary panache and evocative power about the world's most beautiful and mysterious city" (Spectator)

"Donna Leon has a wonderful feel for the hidden evils that lie below the façade of the magical city, and Brunetti, sturdy family man and cynic, is an endearing guide into the machinations of Italian society" (The Times)

"It would be simply perverse not to acknowledge [Leon's] skill . . . The reader comes to look forward to Paola's elegant Venetian lunches as much as Brunetti does . . . The plot of Blood from a Stone both stands up to and complements the cast . . . Comfort reading of the highest order" (TLS)

"The fabulous Donna Leon" (Antonia Fraser Spectator)

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First Sentence
Two men passed under the wooden arch that led into Campo Santo Stefano, their bodies harlequined by the coloured Christmas lights suspended above them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not her best 14 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
I have been reading Donna Leon since her very first book, and rate her very highly, and is a real favourite. Brunetti and his family become like friends as you read her books, and her evocation of Venice is always done with a delicacy of touch that is pleasing. She is a truly fine crime writer...but... sadly there is a caveat. In Blood From a Stone, and indeed in her last couple of books, I fear that she is either: Slightly jaded and bored wih her creation, or under pressure to turn out more books when she is not really inspired.
The storyline is thin, rather obvious and unengaging. There is no 'magic' in the storytelling, and she appears equally uninspired by it. I feel sad to write this, but just like your favourite pop band, every new release cannot surpass the previous.
If you are a committed fan, you will have to read this book, and you will, if you are new to Leon, then PLEASE take an earlier book - something like 'A noble radiance'or 'Death at la Fenice' first, and become hooked...
And Ms Leon: PLEASE, Take a rest and recharge the batteries, and then bounce back, re-invigorated!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another episode in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series cannot come too soon! In this, the 14th book, Leon's inimitable policeman is once agan, well, inimitable. It was a dark, icy and anything but a sleepy wintry night in Venice, when suddenly five shots ring out, or so it goes. However, Leon's "Blood from a Stone" is anything but simple or trite.
A young African man, a "vu compra" (one of the illegal immigrants known as "venditore ambulante," who sell counterfeit designer luggage in the local squares) is shot dead by two men. It is so professionally done that when Brunetti arrives on the scene, there is little wonder that little or no evidence, save the dead body, remains. What does remain, however, is enough to trigger Brunetti's suspicion that this is no ordinary shooting and that darker, more sinister, even evil, forces lie simply beneath the surface.
Thus, armed with his usual loyal team members (Signorina Ellatra and Sgt. Vianello,among others), Brunetti once again sets out to solve this case and once again he meets head on the opposition from his own superiors. By now, of course, Brunetti knows that there is a much bigger picture here and to tread lightly is an undestatement. Still, with his usual tenacity, teamed up with his own unique code of ethics ("for an Italian law officer"), he begins the investigation, which, as Leon usually does, leads us into waters where no angels (or sensible police chiefs) would dare to tread. "Blood from a Stone" looks into a red-hot international political picture, one very real and seems to know no boundaries, or even depths to which it extends. These socially significant issues generally transcend into Brunetti's personal life, his wife (an academician and healthy liberal in her own right at a Venezian university) and two children.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Commissario Brunetti Winner 5 Feb 2005
Format:Hardcover
Donna Leon's 14th Guido Brunetti mystery novel explores contemporary issues in Italy and the magical city of Venice. She skillfully uses her good Commissario, his family, and his colleagues to make political and social statements about Italy and global problems.
The story begins with the execution-style murder of an illegal African street vendor in a busy Venetian campo while he was attempting to sell his fake designer handbags to a group of American tourists. (An African street seller is called a vú cumprá, which is an Italian slang term for you wanna buy? -- the official and more PC Italian term is extracomunitario.) Commissario Brunetti, called to investigate the killing, realizes just how little he knows about these illegal street sellers -- where they're from, how they got to Italy, where they live, how they survive. With the help of his loyal sidekick Vianello, and the stunning, computer savvy Signorina Elettra, he gets a foothold on the case when he locates where the victim lived. He finds some critical evidence in the vú cumprá's apartment, but doesn't report it because he doesn't trust it in the hands of the police hierarchy. Just when he is making progress on the case, Vice Questore Patta, Brunetti's annoying, slow-witted boss, orders him to stop the investigation which has been taken over by not one but two Italian ministries in Rome. Naturally, Brunetti, determined to find out what is behind all this intrigue, disobeys and has to tap into his connected and powerful father-in-law, Count Falier, in his search for answers.
The book is set at Christmas time in Venice. Leon describes the seasonal festivities in marvelous detail. As always, Brunetti's wife Paola and kids Chiara and Raffi get a fair amount of stage time.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon's mysteries are always precious gems! 8 April 2006
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another episode in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series cannot come too soon! In this, the 14th book, Leon's inimitable policeman is once agan, well, inimitable. It
was a dark, icy and anything sleepy wintry night in Venice, when suddenly five shots ring out, or so it goes. However, Leon's "Blood from a Stone" is anything but simple or trite.
A young African man, a "vu compra" (one of the illegal immigrants known as "venditore ambulante," who sell counterfeit designer luggage in the local squares) is shot dead by two
men. It is so professionally done that when Brunetti arrives on the scene, there is little wonder that little or no evidence, save the dead body, remains. What does remain, however, is enough to trigger Brunetti's suspicion that this is no ordinary shooting and that darker, more sinister, even evil, forces lie simply beneath the surface.
Thus, armed with his usual loyal team members (Signorina Ellatra and Sgt. Vianello,among others), Brunetti once again sets out to solve this case and once again he meets head on the opposition from his own superiors. By now, of course, Brunetti knows that
there is a much bigger picture here and to tread lightly is an undestatement. Still, with his usual tenacity, teamed up with his own unique code of ethics ("for an Italian law officer"),
he begins the investigation, which, as Leon usually does, leads us into waters where no angels (or sensible police chiefs) would dare to tread. "Blood from a Stone" looks into a red-hot international political picture, one very real and seems to know no boundaries, or even depths to which it extends.
Read more ›
Comment | 
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Always reliable
Donna Leon's books just get better and better. If you haven't read her before, don't start with this one. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, as always from Donna Leon
A good read, as always from Donna Leon. The characters and plot intertwined against the backdrop of Venice are excellent.
Published 4 months ago by Julian Thorn
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, mild-mannered story
Blood from a Stone is a curious kind of police procedural, as much about feints and duplicity as detection. It is told in an understated way and drifts along without any urgency. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rob Kitchin
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood diamonds are not a man's best friend
Once more to the vagaries of Venetian life as seen through the pen of Donna Leon and through the eyes of Commissario Brunetti. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michael Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
the author tells a good story, with lots of little cosy human traits which help the storyline. it also gives good background knowledge of Venice, and i plan to go there one day.
Published 16 months ago by Patricia Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet
I think this is the best 'Brunetti book that I have read so far - I have not read all of them by any means but have so far read a good few. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood From A Stone
Coming highly recommended by several friends and fellow bloggers I found both of these 'Brunetti' books (numbers 10 and 14 in the series) to be everything they said they'd be... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Tracy Terry
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This was my first Donna Leon book and I bought it at the airport on my way back from a trip to Venice. What a disappointment! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Betty O
3.0 out of 5 stars IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER
The approach to Christmas is marred by the shooting of a coloured market trader. As so often, Commissario Guido Brunetti encounters a wall of silence and, on this occasion,... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mr. D. L. Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best.
Having read all the books in chronological order,each character becomes more complex as we progress and although each book could stand alone as a novel. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by Ms. Susan M. John
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