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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sea Of Troubles, Donna Leon
Donna Leon has very quickly become one of my favourite female authors. Indeed, I think there's only one other I prefer, and that's Ruth Rendell. Leon's books are, simply, an exquisite pleasure. There is something about them that is so relaxed and joyful, but they are also very moral, rather shaded pieces of work. Every one that I have read so far has been a wonderful...
Published on 16 Jun. 2004 by RachelWalker

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A SEA OF TROUBLES
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 ...... and more. And having seen the characters develop over these two books fully intend to read the other books in chronological order.

Crime capers set in exquisitely described Venice,...
Published on 9 Aug. 2012 by Tracy Terry


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sea Of Troubles, Donna Leon, 16 Jun. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Sea of Troubles (Paperback)
Donna Leon has very quickly become one of my favourite female authors. Indeed, I think there's only one other I prefer, and that's Ruth Rendell. Leon's books are, simply, an exquisite pleasure. There is something about them that is so relaxed and joyful, but they are also very moral, rather shaded pieces of work. Every one that I have read so far has been a wonderful experience. Along with Henning Mankell, she is my best discovery in crime fiction for years and years, and A Sea of Troubles is very possibly her best book - it is certainly the bravest and most affecting.
Pellestrina is a thin strip of island south-west of the city of Venice (I'll take a moment here to congratulate the publishers for including a wonderful map of the area). Its population consists mostly of fishermen and their families. It is, in the nature of such communities, a very insular place. One day, a fishing boat catches fire in the harbour. It explodes, and sinks. The owner and his son are missing, only found when a diver investigates the wreck and discovers their bodies aboard. Enter Comissario Guido Brunetti, the most wonderful detective in all crime fiction. He has a hard time getting any information whatsoever from the people of Pellestrina, just attaining a vague impression that the owner of the boat wasn't particularly liked. When Singorina Elletra volunteers that she has family on the island, and that she will take a vacation there in an attempt to find out more about the locals and what they think and know, Brunetti is very wary of the idea. But she will not be dissuaded. Brunetti finds himself not only having to confront issues of her safety, but of his somewhat ambiguous feelings for her.
The only word for the book is wonderful. Venice is described beautifully, as is the isolated community of Pellestrina. Brunetti is his usual marvellous self. His family are a joy as well, his children drifting in the background like life-affirming spirits. There are some issues with his wonderful wife, whose instincts tell her that Brunetti perhaps feels a little too much for the secretary Elletra. The plotting is excellent, the setting likewise. At last we see how gloriously human Elletra is. In other books she is an intriguing enigma, but here she gains humanity. A personality. It was wonderful to discover more about her, how her mind works, to see her in a different, more revealing light. It was a brave move on Leon's part, and it works spectacularly. At times in previous novels, Elletra has seemed a little machine-like, but now she is more real, more a character, and will be all the better for it in new books. The conclusion, during a violent storm on the Venetian laguna, is tense and exciting, the solution is excellent, all the more gratifying for that Leon only elaborates minimally, leaving the reader to use their brains for once, This is rare enough in fiction.
I've said before, and I will say again now, that the fact that Leon writes these crime novels purely for her own amusement really shines through. Primarily, Leon's first love is opera, and the cash she gets from being a bestseller all across the world only supplements that hobby and her own opera company. That she writes these almost as a secondary hobby, for her own entertainment, gives them a sense of being very relaxed, and it is very welcome and very refreshing. I love almost everything about these novels. Anyone who picks one up is not going to be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brunetti Explores South of the Lido, 28 Dec. 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Sea of Troubles (Paperback)
A Sea of Troubles is a pleasant change in the Guido Brunetti series. Although Venice is surrounded (and almost inundated by) the sea, there's often little sense of that element in the earlier stories except in recounting the need to take a boat or vaporetto to get somewhere. In this book, we learn about fishing and its challenges (for fisherman and those who eat their catch) as Donna Leon takes us southwest of Venice to the long, thin island of Pellestrina.

The opening of the book contains an excellent map of Venice and its lagoon that covers an area of about 40 by 25 kilometers. Stick a book mark into where that map is: You'll be referring to the map often.

A fire breaks out on a fishing boat docked on Pellestrina. Soon, the whole harbor is filled with fishermen seeking to save their boats. After things settle down, someone notices that two fishermen are missing.

Before long, the various police bureaucracies are vying to get rid of the case. Commissario Guido Brunetti is the lucky winner and finds himself up against a town that doesn't talk to outsiders . . . and certainly not to Venetian policemen.

While seeking to learn more about what happened, Signorina Elletra Zorzi decides she would like to play undercover detective by spending a few days with her cousin on Pellestrina. Who knows? Perhaps someone will tell her something.

Guido is very opposed but knows he cannot sway Signorina Elletra. However, he can try to protect her. Even Paolo begins to notice that Guido is obsessed. Could it be that his feelings for Signorina Elletra are more than what they seem?

As usual, back channels begin to provide the information that reveals who had the motive for crime. With that knowledge, Brunetti knows that he's got a dangerous task ahead.

I cannot remember reading another book by Donna Leon that is as well steeped in local geography and conditions as A Sea of Troubles is. It makes for a compelling story.

I also liked the way Ms. Leon changed the focus of an investigation to put Signorina Elletra into a role other than as computer hacker and lover of flowers and fine clothes.

The plot also successfully triangulates the themes of private and public corruption that abound in this series with family ties and personal friendships. In that context, Ms. Leon asks a very fundamental question that will intrigue you: How well do we know anyone else?

Have a great trip to Pellestrina!

And be careful where you get your clams.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sea of Troubles, Donna Leon, 16 Jun. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Sea of Troubles (Paperback)
Donna Leon has very quickly become one of my favourite female authors. Indeed, I think there's only one other I prefer, and that's Ruth Rendell. Leon's books are, simply, an exquisite pleasure. There is something about them that is so relaxed and joyful, but they are also very moral, rather shaded pieces of work. Every one that I have read so far has been a wonderful experience. Along with Henning Mankell, she is my best discovery in crime fiction for years and years, and A Sea of Troubles is very possibly her best book - it is certainly the bravest and most affecting.
Pellestrina is a thin strip of island south-west of the city of Venice (I'll take a moment here to congratulate the publishers for including a wonderful map of the area). Its population consists mostly of fishermen and their families. It is, in the nature of such communities, a very insular place. One day, a fishing boat catches fire in the harbour. It explodes, and sinks. The owner and his son are missing, only found when a diver investigates the wreck and discovers their bodies aboard. Enter Comissario Guido Brunetti, the most wonderful detective in all crime fiction. He has a hard time getting any information whatsoever from the people of Pellestrina, just attaining a vague impression that the owner of the boat wasn't particularly liked. When Singorina Elletra volunteers that she has family on the island, and that she will take a vacation there in an attempt to find out more about the locals and what they think and know, Brunetti is very wary of the idea. But she will not be dissuaded. Brunetti finds himself not only having to confront issues of her safety, but of his somewhat ambiguous feelings for her.
The only word for the book is wonderful. Venice is described beautifully, as is the isolated community of Pellestrina. Brunetti is his usual marvellous self. His family are a joy as well, his children drifting in the background like life-affirming spirits. There are some issues with his wonderful wife, whose instincts tell her that Brunetti perhaps feels a little too much for the secretary Elletra. The plotting is excellent, the setting likewise. At last we see how gloriously human Elletra is. In other books she is an intriguing enigma, but here she gains humanity. A personality. It was wonderful to discover more about her, how her mind works, to see her in a different, more revealing light. It was a brave move on Leon's part, and it works spectacularly. At times in previous novels, Elletra has seemed a little machine-like, but now she is more real, more a character, and will be all the better for it in new books. The conclusion, during a violent storm on the Venetian laguna, is tense and exciting, the solution is excellent, all the more gratifying for that Leon only elaborates minimally, leaving the reader to use their brains for once, This is rare enough in fiction.
I've said before, and I will say again now, that the fact that Leon writes these crime novels purely for her own amusement really shines through. Primarily, Leon's first love is opera, and the cash she gets from being a bestseller all across the world only supplements that hobby and her own opera company. That she writes these almost as a secondary hobby, for her own entertainment, gives them a sense of being very relaxed, and it is very welcome and very refreshing. I love almost everything about these novels. Anyone who picks one up is not going to be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb, 27 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: A Sea Of Troubles: (Brunetti 10) (Paperback)
Superb, as usual! She is definately my favourite author. Never fails to grip the reader and is what I call "not put downable"!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A SEA OF TROUBLES, 9 Aug. 2012
This review is from: A Sea Of Troubles: (Brunetti 10) (Paperback)
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 ...... and more. And having seen the characters develop over these two books fully intend to read the other books in chronological order.

Crime capers set in exquisitely described Venice, I found both A Sea Of Troubles (book 10) and, Blood From A Stone (book 14) to be a bit more relaxed and less graphic, one could almost say more gentle, than the vast majority of other crime books on the market.

Perhaps concentrating on family/working/community relationships and issues of a somewhat moral and/or political nature (amongst other things police bureaucracy and pollution in A Sea Of Troubles and racism and the counterfeiting of branded goods in Blood From A Stone) as much as the crime itself, I really found these novels a refreshing change.

Though I did enjoy A Sea Of Troubles finding Brunetti's relationship with P.A., Elettra, fascinating reading and the 'locals' reaction to the police interesting, I did find the plot a bit implausible, Elettra' role as an undercover officer perhaps a little far fetched.

In my opinion Blood From A Stone was a better though in many ways more disturbing read. Though enjoyable from the point of view that many aspects of the story will be familiar to those of us lucky enough to have visited Venice, with an underlying theme of (largely disliked) immigrants and racism this did at times make for uncomfortable reading.

Perhaps at times guilty of being a tad over-zealous in her desire to make us, the reader, more socially and environmentally aware, I can't help but wonder if Paola (Brunetti's wife) is in fact Donna Leon.

A long time since I read two books by the same author back to back, I recommend these two books as a great alternative to the positively gory crime thrillers I seem to have been reading of late.

A Sea Of Troubles
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so good, 17 Aug. 2014
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Ms Leon often attempts to explore prejudice but since her own prejudiced voice comes through so much I find it hard to hang on to my idea of Brunetti as a character. It's no wonder she doesn't want her books published in Italian; some of them would probably lynch her. You wouldn't want to be one of these parochial Pellestrinotti, would you? This series could be so great, but she just lays it on so thick at the expense of her characterisation.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon steers us on the 'write' course!, 17 April 2002
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Sea of Troubles (Paperback)
Donna Leon simply is a mesmerizing writer. No other author--and some do come
close--approaches her today in terms of suspense, characterization, plot
development, and social significance. In "Sea of Trouble," she continues her
exceptional level of excellence. I could hardly wait for this edition (it's not available
for some incredible reason in the States!)to arrive.
Guido Brunetti has his hands full, once more. Two men (a father and his son) are
found murdered in a sunken fishing boat in the waters off Pelligrina. However, the
villagers close ranks and are in no hurry to cooperate with the police. Enjoining the
services of Signorina Ellatra, Brunetti begins a painful, plodding investigation.
With this type of story, Leon is quite good--and she never lets up on the
environmental issues ("Don't eat the shellfish!").
Her murderers don't come as surprises in the final pages, as Leon doesn't use this
device; instead, she depends upon the brilliant thinking of Brunetti and his team to
bring the guilty, whom we know early enough, to bear. This is not to say that "Sea
of Trouble" doesn't contain great suspense--it does. And Leon, who clearly is in
love with Venice, captains this book in the best of traditions. Lucky she has Guido
Brunetti and his staff and family as crew members. Don't miss this one!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling detective, good mystery, 23 May 2014
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As always, with Donna Leon, her detective Brunetti beguiles with his decency and humanity while solving a cracking murder mystery. Beautifully written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 3 May 2014
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As always the portrayal of Brunetti both as a police officer and as an individual is fascinating.
this investigation takes place on one of the islands which lie in the lagoon which gives a new dimension to the story.
Once you have started, you have to finish!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon A sea of toubles, 25 April 2014
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This is an excellent interesting crime novel in a fascinating setting. The plots keep you guessing and the characters are well drawn.
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A Sea Of Troubles: (Brunetti 10)
A Sea Of Troubles: (Brunetti 10) by Donna Leon (Paperback - 26 Feb. 2009)
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