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Death at La Fenice [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Donna Leon , Richard Morant
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Paperback £5.59  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, 1 Sep 2003 --  

Book Description

1 Sep 2003
The twisted maze of Venice's canals has always been shrouded in mystery. Even the celebrated opera house, La Fenice, has seen its share of death ... but none so horrific and violent as that of world-famous conductor, Maestro Helmut Wellauer, who was poisoned during a performance of La Traviata. Even Commissario of Police, Guido Brunetti, used to the labyrinthine corruptions of the city, is shocked at the number of enemies Wellauer has made on his way to the top - but just how many have motive enough for murder? The beauty of Venice is crumbling. But evil is one thing that will never erode with age.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Chivers Audio Books (1 Sep 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0754087778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754087779
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 18.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,933,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"

Praise for Through A Glass, Darkly:

Venetian life, and Brunetti's model marriage, are as entertaining as the working out of the whodunit. A joy from start to finish.

" (Evening Standard)

"'One of Venice's greatest contemporary chroniclers... The smells, flavours, sights and sounds all come flooding to life. Even though the first crime doesn't happen until well over halfway through, but this doesn't dampen its page-turning appeal... Once again, Leon has her finger on the pulse.'" (Henry Sutton Daily Mirror)

"Operatic brilliance... Donna Leon appears to have the knack of keeping her Venice-set Brunetti books as fresh as paint. Through A Glass, Darkly, like all her work, has the exuberance of a Puccini opera." (Independent)

"A wholly absorbing read." (Sunday Telegraph)

"

Praise for Blood From A Stone:

'The fabulous Donna Leon' Antonia Fraser in the Spectator

" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The first installment in the critically acclaimed crime fiction Commissario Brunetti series by bestselling author Donna Leon. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
The third gong, announcing that the opera was about to continue, sounded discreetly through the lobbies and bars of Teatro La Fenice. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . 5 May 2004
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I've read Leon's books out of order, but I don't think it really matters. They are simply excellent, however you read them. Death at la Fenice is the first, and is surprisingly assured and polished for a debut that was written after a challenge from a friend. Given that this is a first performance, Leon was clearly a natural writer for this genre.
This is the first apearance of Guido Brunetti, who is called in to investigate after the death of an eminent conductor part-way through a performance of La Triviata. He was poisoned in his dressing room. The press will be baying for a solution; with every day that passes when this murderer roams free a great slur is wrought on the name of Venice.
As Brunetti diligently digs away, he uncovers a portrait of a complex and fascinating man, but one who has made a very unhealthy number of enemies on his way to the top...
Anyone anywhere who is a fan of crime novels simply cannot ignore Donna Leon. You must pick up one of her sublime books immediately, and you are gauranteed enjoyment. There is such an easy to the writing, and she plots so very well. It moves along at excellent pace, and all manner of secrets and suspects creep fromt he woodwork, and she still manages to produce an absolutely astounding solution which is incredibly satisfying indeed, despite the fact that it seems to break one crime fictions golden rules. That matters not, though; Donna Leon can do absolutely anything. In terms of crime novels, she can do no wrong at all.
Death at la Fenice is a first-class piece of fiction, and Venice makes for an inspired backdrop which she utilises very well indeed. Buy it.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death sings a solo at La Fenice 5 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Venice is for lovers, or so they say. It is also the setting in this thriller, the first of a series by Donna Leon, titled "Death at La Fenice."
La Fenice is the name of Venice's famed opera house and in this novel, death is the event de jour, as a well-known German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, shortly before he was to conduct "La Traviata." Of course, the show must go on. Of course, the police must be called.
And we are introduced to Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police in Venice. He's also a brilliant detective. With suspects galore, Brunetti finds the early going to be confusing and not all what the "facts" may seem.
In Brunetti, Donna Leon has created the quintessential police detective. He is a man whom we are proud to call an acquaintance as we follow his trail in all the Leon books. She describes him: "He was a surprisingly neat man: tie carefully knotted, hair shorter than was the fashion; even his ears lay close to his head, as if reluctant to call attention to themselves. His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced that he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman."
Leon, in addition to being a first rate novelist, has been an American English teacher aboard, and healthy international sales have made her vision of Venice well known. She seems to love the city, but with an attitude that shows her feet are on the ground. She lets Brunetti characterize the city: "And then he was at the water's edge, the bridge to his right. How typically Venetian it was, looking, from a distance, lofty and ethereal but revealing itself, upon closer reflection, to be firmly grounded in the mud of the city.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon's debut thriller is outstanding! 25 Oct 2004
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Venice is for lovers, or so they say. It is also the setting in this thriller, the first of a series by Donna Leon, titled "Death at La Fenice."
La Fenice is the name of Venice's famed opera house and in this novel, death is the event de jour, as a well-known German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, shortly before he was to conduct "La Traviata." Of course, the show must go on. Of course, the police must be called.
And we are introduced to Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police in Venice. He's also a brilliant detective. With suspects galore, Brunetti finds the early going to be confusing and not all what the "facts" may seem.
In Brunetti, Donna Leon has created the quintessential police detective. He is a man whom we are proud to call an acquaintance as we follow his trail in all the Leon books. She describes him: "He was a surprisingly neat man: tie carefully knotted, hair shorter than was the fashion; even his ears lay close to his head, as if reluctant to call attention to themselves. His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced that he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman."
Leon, in addition to being a first rate novelist, has been an American English teacher aboard, and healthy international sales have made her vision of Venice well known. She seems to love the city, but with an attitude that shows her feet are on the ground. She lets Brunetti characterize the city: "And then he was at the water's edge, the bridge to his right. How typically Venetian it was, looking, from a distance, lofty and ethereal but revealing itself, upon closer reflection, to be firmly grounded in the mud of the city.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent condition purchased for my book club reading group.
Published 14 days ago by Diane Messenger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
LOVE IT THANKS!
Published 29 days ago by K. HARRIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series
Good read in a good series.
Published 1 month ago by Eileen
2.0 out of 5 stars Wrong gender
I picked up this book while looking for another writer of Italian murder mysteries. While the writing is good the book fails due to the common inability of writers to write from... Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read for Venice
Wanted a holiday read set in Venice, perfect, not too heavy. An interesting detective story with a likeable character.
Published 2 months ago by StumpyB
4.0 out of 5 stars The first case of a classic detective
This is the first of Donna Leon’s series of crime books featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, published in 1992. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr R
1.0 out of 5 stars Oops!
A very badly written book with a weak plot and uninteresting characters. I did not enjoy this book at all.
Published 2 months ago by Jaytee
5.0 out of 5 stars clever detective story
Interesting background setting of Venice and the opera world. Characters and locations portrayed very well but not to the detriment of a clever plot. Definitely worth reading
Published 2 months ago by meryon
4.0 out of 5 stars I am hooked!
This was the first time that I had encountered Donna Leon. I have to admit that I have told friends and am now collecting the series via Amazon. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cadfael
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read.
I bought it mainly to recapture some of the feel of Venice following a visit there. It was enjoyable but I don't feel tempted to read more in the series.
Published 8 months ago by Veronica Dunne
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