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Drawing Conclusions: (Brunetti 20) (Commissario Brunetti) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Leon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A young woman returns from holiday to find her elderly neighbour dead on the floor. A heart attack seems the likely cause, but Commissario Brunetti is not so sure and decides to take a closer look. Soon he discovers that she was part of an organization that cares for abused women and that her apartment was a safe-house.

Convinced that this is the lead he has been looking for, Brunetti begins his search for answers. But as he sets out to discover the truth behind her death, he is drawn into a decades-old story of lies and deceit that has blighted love and ruined lives - and has claimed this innocent woman as its newest victim. Brunetti's investigation takes him deep into the dark heart of his beloved Venice.

Product Description


"[Leon's] portrait of Venice and modern Italy is, as always, captivating...The lively conversations between...characters, displaying Leon's sly humour, are a delight." (Evening Standard)

"With characteristic skill, Leon draws together multiple threads and a well-rounded cast ... With the steady, unsentimental style that has become her signature, Donna Leon keeps us hesitating until the last corner is turned." (Times Literary Supplement)

"Leon's clear-eyed descriptions of Venice still make you long to return to the calles and campos of the floating city." (Sunday Telegraph)

"More elegant, understated crime fighting from the mistress of La Serinissima...A welcome return to the comfortable characters and locations that her fans have come to love." (Independent)

"[Leon] is a master at weaselling her way into the venal byways of human selfishness and laying them bare. ... There's a quietness to the crimes here that is more powerful than outlandish violence, and which points to the philosophical bedrock from which Leon so effectively works." (Scottish Sunday Herald)

Book Description

Celebrated by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, Donna Leon brings us the twentieth Commissario Brunetti detective novel in this gripping Venice based crime series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 737 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (7 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SOZ6H6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Leon, but not obviously... 23 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An old woman is found dead; it appears to be natural causes - a heart attack; except there are a few marks on the corpse which aren't absolutely consonant with that verdict. Brunetti can't ignore them, and is led into an investigation which leads to a dreadful evil behind the death.
If you want thrills and fast action, look elsewhere. To do that, though, would be a shame, because the way Leon tells the story exactly parallels the nature of the crime and the evil: they're hidden things, things society would sooner ignore, things which require careful vision to see.
So the investigation unfolds gently, slowly and not always obviously; yet always inexorably, until we are brought, with Brunetti, to the truth, and the central evil of the book.
It would be a shame if a writer of Donna Leon's class were condemned to write variations on a theme, as so many crime writers do. Each of her books has a different register; she is ready to try new ways of writing and unfolding a plot. And that means, inevitably, that not every one of her fans will like each book. Yet, to me at least, this one is a gem: understated but vital, and never after effect for the sake of effect. So what if Patta et al take a back seat? That's what this story requires, so that's how Leon writes it.
Ignore the nay-sayers and see for yourself...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant excursion to Venice 28 April 2011
By Bluebell TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The basic story of this book, an elderly woman found dead, is it an accident or is it murder, provides a back-drop for the author to explore morality issues of Italian life: mainly corruption and exploitation of women from Eastern Europe.

I'm surprised that some reviewers have felt that this book was not as good as previous Donna Leon novels. I thought it was up to her usual high standard. I don't read her Commissario Brunetti books for the detective element, more for the atmosphere of Venice and Italian life: both good and bad. She has created a range of well-rounded characters whose lives I enjoy following in the series. Brunetti is unusual in detective fiction that he's basically a happy man, with a stable family life, who doesn't drink to excess or smoke endless cigarettes, and who gets on well with his assistant, Vianello and is thus a welcome contrast to the almost universal character clichés of other detective series. A favourite character for me is Signorina Electra and her amazing computer hacking skills and her dead-pan approach to her pompous and lazy boss, Vice-Questore, Patta.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her best, I'm sorry to say ... 10 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I begin to wonder whether Donna Leon has exhausted her interest in Brunetti and the world she has created for him. I almost felt at points in the book that she was simply rushing through to get the book out to schedule. Like a previous reviewer I felt the nods to Brunetti's world almost perfunctory: Elletra, Vianello, Paola and the children all make their due appearances doing something characteristic, but they do not develop at all as personalities (which is a sadness for all long term readers, and I felt particularly an opportunity missed with Chiara and Rafi - I mean really, isn't there always something new with teenagers?). Personally I missed most the descriptions of Paola's cooking - I always linger over the pages which describe her dishing up, and them enjoying her beautiful seasonal recipes - this time a couple of lines tell us what the family has, and you can go away and look it up in a cookbook if you want more. Mean, I call it!
But to the detective aspect of the book, which is what we are all theoretically there for - how about that? Well, agaiin I felt that Donna Leon was slightly bored by the format. Yes, we get a mystery - an elderly lady is found dead. It could be a heart attack but there are some indications which suggest violence which may have precipitated the heart attack. The son is well in with Patta, but behaves mysteriously, the finder of the body may have links to the Mafia, the spare bedroom of the flat is plain odd. We get a resolution, of course, but it is frankly not very satisfactory qua detective fiction resolution - and the red herrings are not enjoyably played out along the way - just floated and dropped.
Where Leon seems more to be going is a slightly downbeat state of the nation review.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a return to better form 6 Nov. 2011
By Linda
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like most Donna Leon fans I think that quality of the Brunetti books has decreased in recent years with far too much emphasis on his family and not enough plot - and too much repetition about people who we already know inside out. This book does however definitely see a change in tack. Whilst it may not quite justify the 4 stars I have given it - the book nevertheless was very enjoyable and I only hope that Donna Leon has perhaps taken on board recent criticism from her loyal fans so that we can continue to enjoy Brunetti for some books to come. As always the flavour (beauty and flaws) of the Venice I loved is as powerful as ever.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drawing Conclusions - Failed 12 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is just not up to Ms Leon's usual standard. It seems like an outline of a novel. There are too many irrelevant episodes: the family is wheeled in to show it is still there; Scarpa makes a brif appearence to no purpose; Brunnetti's walks a through Venice have all the interst of a street directory and are no substitute for atmosphere.There is no real depth of character drawing. A murder mystery without any tension or pace and too much reliance on hazy memories of past events and computer bank records. The plot seems far-fetched and very unlikely. There is no action - physical or mental. I was uninvolved in it all and now cannot recall any incidents or characters. Donna Leon needs to take a rest and recharge her batteries.
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