Nick Petrie Series

Donna Leon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Guido Brunetti Books

Death at La Fenice (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death in a Strange Country (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Anonymous Venetian / Dressed for Death (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Venetian Reckoning / Death and Judgment (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Acqua Alta / Death in High Water (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Death of Faith / Quietly in Their Sleep (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Noble Radiance (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fatal Remedies (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Friends in High Places (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Sea of Troubles (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wilful Behaviour (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Uniform Justice (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctored Evidence (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood from a Stone (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Through a Glass, Darkly (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Suffer the Little Children (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Girl of His Dreams (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
About Face (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Question of Belief (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Drawing Conclusions (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beastly Things (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Golden Egg (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
By its Cover (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Falling in Love (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Waters of Eternal Youth (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Earthly Remains (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Temptation of Forgiveness (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unto Us a Son Is Given (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Trace Elements (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Transient Desires (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Give Unto Others (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
So Shall You Reap (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Guido Brunetti Non-Fiction Books

Brunetti's Cookbook (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Jewels of Paradise (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Handel's Bestiary: In Search of Animals in Handel's Operas (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Venetian Curiosities (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Venice and Other Essays (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gondola (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Donna Leon was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1942. She is the author of twenty-three crime novels that take place in Venice, Italy, and feature Commissario Guido Brunetti as the protagonist, with support characters that help him solve the crimes. While not much is known about her, Donna has been praised by fans and critics alike for her work, which is found by most to be thoughtful and descriptive by content.

Not much is known about Donna, other than what she has allowed to be published since she is a very private person and prefers to keep her private life to herself. Donna Leon has lived in Venice, Italy for just over thirty years, which has helped her with writing her novels. She has been known to describe Venice as a very peaceful, urban place of great beauty. Prior to writing her novels, she worked professionally as an English Literature lecturer at the University of Maryland University College – Europe (UMUC Europe).

Prior to her occupation as a lecturer, she worked from the years 1981-1999 in the role of Professor at the Vicenza, Italy American military base, which is one of the inspirations for her second novel entitled Death in a Strange Country. She ceased her teaching profession to concentrate on her passions: writing and working on Baroque music, among other culturally-inclined endeavors. Writing has largely been her most focused work, and it is apparent both in her novels and in her writing style, that she is a true artist of her craft. All of Donna’s novels occur within the city of Venice, Italy, or at least within the surrounding areas.

While her novels have been translated from her native English to a variety of foreign languages, she has asked that they not be translated into Italian. Donna Leon has won many awards for her books including the Suntory Mystery Fiction Grand Prize for her first novel Death at La Fenice, the Golden Book Award from the Austrian Booksellers Association, the International Deutscher Krimi Preis, 3rd place, for Dressed for Death, the CWA Silver Dagger Award for Friends in High Places, the Chorine – International Book Prize for Willful Behaviour, and the Spoken Word Awards Silver Award for Blood From a Stone.

Additionally, eighteen of her twenty-three novels have been produced as broadcast dramas by German Television. Her writings have been lauded as one of Time Magazine’s “6 Detective Series to Savor,” and she has been named as one of The Times (London, England) “Fifty Greatest Crime Writers.” The span of time within which Donna Leon has written her novels runs from the years 1992 to 2014.

Her main character, Commissario Guido Brunetti, is a police commissioner who serves under a rather pompous, slightly humorous Vice-questore by the name of Patta. Patta’s secretary, Signorina Elettra and Sergente Vianello assist Brunetti with research he needs in order to solve the crimes that occur in and around Venice.

Signorina Elettra is considered “well connected,” and is arguably the most helpful to Brunetti regarding research that is performed for his investigations; Sergente Vianello is his “right hand man,” who is pleasant and sharp-witted. Donna Leon take the opportunity to imbibe her novels with aspects of every day life in Venice, Italy, while also exposing the unpleasant, rough side of crime and its components.

One type of event that fans of her novels can enjoy, while in Venice, Italy, is a walking tour of Guido Brunetti’s Venice. Participants can envision what Brunetti might have experienced, while traversing the various destinations on the walking tour, which include specific landmarks in Venice that Brunetti has either visited; something that true fans of her work have come to relish as a truly grand experience.

The first novel written by Donna Leon is entitled Death at La Fenice. It is basically about a crime that occurs with no visible clues in which to solve it. The protagonist, police commissioner Guido Brunetti, needs to discover why a distinguished German composer by the name of Helmut Wellauer, mysteriously dies horribly from cyanide poisoning found in a cup of coffee that he initially enjoys, during the intermission of the operatic performance of La Traviata.

Brunetti finds the task of narrowing the murder suspects rather daunting, but eventually he narrows it down to the one suspect who has the most compelling reasons for having committed the crime. Revenge is a theme, in addition to depravity and other darker human themes, which most readers cannot put down, once they start their reading journey through the fantastic story. The second novel in the Brunetti series is entitled Death in a Strange Country, and starts of with a terrible find: the body of a young American Soldier is discovered floating in a Venetian canal, and is subsequently fished out for investigation and processing.

Commissario Brunetti discovers that the soldier was stationed at an American military base located just an hour west of Venice. Stab wounds are found throughout the body, and it initially appears to be an easily closed case of a brutal mugging, but for the fact that Brunetti must investigate the military base, and discover what really happened behind the murder. Of course, he discovers much more than just a mere case of mugging since the more he investigates the case, the more it is obviously not just a mugging; there is some sort of conspiracy behind it, and the poor soldier’s death is directly related to a cover-up.

While schemes within the story include some of the nicer aspects of living in Venice, there are darker themes that are found throughout the novel, especially when Brunetti starts his investigation at the military base. One of the most interesting finds in the novel, with respect to Brunetti visiting the military base, is how it seems like a completely different world to him.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Donna Leon

11 Responses to “Donna Leon”

  1. Anthony J. (Tony) Agostinelli: 5 months ago

    I come to praise Leo, not to bury her. Donna Leon’s works have become my reading addiction since “Death at La Fenice”. I have not read all of her works, but I am chipping away at them. Amazon and used paperbacks from everywhere have been my uprise! When on trips o the senior residence van, the drive has been reminded not to stop at the yard and garage sales, “he’ll stay there forever looking for Donna Leon books”. Although that is not entirely true,it does come close to the truth. I enjoy your work, Ms. Leon, your attention to detail is what spurs me on when I read Brunetti’s pursuit of the criminal (s). Thank-you for that! Keep Brunetti et alii, at work…I am on the team! Tony

  2. Lois Sabatino: 8 months ago

    In my opinion the beautifully-written Donna Leon books have been going downhill with the last three. What happened to the family unit, the food, the love and humor permeating the family? I think Leon should get off the environment bandwagon and go back to writing as she did when she invented Brunetti et al. If not, perhaps it’s time for Brunetti and Leon to retire.

  3. Bridget Hill: 1 year ago

    (Potential spoilers ahead)

    I am really enjoying the Brunetti books but at the end of Aqua Alta why Brett not in any way held responsible for Salvatore’s death?
    If his body had been swept away it would have been understandable but it is still there and he has obviously been murdered.

  4. Pamela O’Connor: 1 year ago

    my husband and I were passionate fans from the finish of Donna Leon’s first book! marvelous! Intelligently written.So crazy were we of her books that after “earthly Remains” we decided we HAD to go to Venice and travel the many streets and locales of Brunetti. we were able to make arrangements for a tour of many of the books with a Professor at the Academie. so great..a total Brunetti tour …that two years later we returned again to Venice for more Brunetti sites in stories…which became our favorite city of all our European travels…Thsnk you Ms Leon!!

  5. Wayne. Struckler: 2 years ago

    Please would someone remind me of the name of the book wherein the lady doctor is writing prescriptions to get a kick-back from the pharmacist so that she can afford the private clinic that her son is at. Very serious book.

    • Hélène: 2 years ago

      The golden egg

      • Chris Jones: 1 year ago

        The correct book is The Temptation of Forgiveness in which Dottoressa Ruberti was found out by Signor Gasparini, whom she pushed on a bridge.

  6. Linda E Thorsen: 2 years ago

    They start at the top and stay there – every single book! Excellent.

  7. Linda E Thorsen: 2 years ago

    Donna Leon is probably one of the best writers of a series worldwide! I’m a voracious reader of crime fiction, but these books are so much deeper. She’s unafraid to broach corruption- environmental, political, Catholicism, etc. An amazing sense of humor! Characters so realistic and diverse in temperament. Her passion for digging and getting down and dirty regardless of repercussions grip me! Awesome!

  8. Patricia Shapiro: 2 years ago

    I love all the Donna Leon books and have read them all except for the most recent two. In my humble opinion, the trait that Donna Leon shares with other great mystery/crime writers, like Michael Connelly, Stuart Kaminsky, etc. is to make her protagonist entirely human and believable. Guido Brunetti has become to me an completely “real” person.

  9. chloeross3: 4 years ago

    Recommend by good friend. My sister lives near Venice – so I am going to start with her first. Who loved it?


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