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The Crocodile
Author: Maurizio de Giovanni
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1609451635
Pages: 336
Year: 2013-07-02
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This is Naples as you’ve never seen it before. A chaotic, shadowy city full of ominous echoes and dark alleyways where each inhabitant seems too absorbed by his or her own problems to give a damn about anybody else. And that is exactly what makes it possible for a cold, methodical killer to commit his atrocious crimes largely undisturbed, to merge with the crowd as if he were invisible. The newspapers call him “The Crocodile” because, like a crocodile, when he devours his own children, he cries. And like a crocodile he is a perfect killing machine: he waits and watches until his prey is within range, and then he strikes. Three young people with very diverse backgrounds have been found murdered in three different neighborhoods, each shot with a single bullet, execution style. While his colleagues see little or no connection, Inspector Giuseppe Lojacono, smells a rat. He is driven by his instincts and his own troubled recent history. He has just been transferred to Naples from Sicily where a Mafioso-turned-informant accused him of leaking sensitive information to the mob. Once an estimated member of the mobile unit of the Agrigento police force, Lojacono has lost everything, first and foremost the love of his wife and daughter. But now he’s been given a second chance and a shot at clearing his name. A young magistrate, the beautiful Laura Piras, wants him in Naples. She’s heard of his preternatural skills and his incredible powers of observation and she thinks a man like him is needed in Naples. So it is that Inspector Lojacono is charged with finding the link between the three dead bodies. At the root of these murders, he will discover, is a pain that still burns, a sense of guilt than cannot be purged, and one all-consuming love.
The Waters of Eternal Youth
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802190316
Pages: 256
Year: 2016-03-08
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In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But in The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all. Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing. Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness—the girl’s grandmother—asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees. Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, and the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series.
Falling in Love
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802123538
Pages: 256
Year: 2015-04-07
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Donna Leon’s Death at La Fenice, the first novel in her beloved Commissario Guido Brunetti series, introduced readers to the glamorous and cutthroat world of opera and one of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli—then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to Venice and La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca. Brunetti and his wife, Paola, attend an early performance, and Flavia receives a standing ovation. Back in her dressing room, she finds bouquets of yellow roses—too many roses. Every surface of the room is covered with them. An anonymous fan has been showering Flavia with these beautiful gifts in London, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and now, Venice, but she no longer feels flattered. A few nights later, invited by Brunetti to dine at his in-laws’ palazzo, Flavia confesses her alarm at these excessive displays of adoration. And when a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia’s attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia’s fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined. He must enter in the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm.
Beastly Things
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802194508
Pages: 288
Year: 2012-04-03
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When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can Brunetti identify the man when he can’t show pictures of his face? The autopsy shows a way forward: it turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside of his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals. At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti’s home, where conversation at family meals offer a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead. As subtle and engrossing as ever, Leon’s Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.
The Golden Egg
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802193595
Pages: 256
Year: 2013-04-02
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In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor shop-keeping violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but he has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife, Paola, comes to him with a request of her own. The mentally handicapped man who worked at their dry cleaner has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him. Brunetti begins to investigate the death and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no passport, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. Stranger still, the dead man’s mother refuses to speak to the police, and assures Brunetti that her son’s identification papers were stolen in a burglary. As secrets unravel, Brunetti suspects that the Lembos, an aristocratic family, might be somehow connected to the death. But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?
Drawing Conclusions
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802195628
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-04-05
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Nearly twenty years ago, when a conductor was poisoned and the Questura sent a man to investigate, readers first met Commissario Guido Brunetti. Since 1992’s Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon and her shrewd, sophisticated, and compassionate investigator have been delighting readers around the world. For her millions of fans, Leon’s novels have opened a window into the private Venice of her citizens, a world of incomparable beauty, family intimacy, shocking crime, and insidious corruption. This internationally acclaimed, bestselling series is widely considered one of the best ever written, and Atlantic Monthly Press is thrilled to be publishing the twentieth installment, Drawing Conclusions, this spring. Late one night, Brunetti is called away from dinner to investigate the death of a widow in her modest apartment. Though there are some signs of a struggle, the medical examiner rules that she died of a heart attack. It seems there is nothing for Brunetti to investigate. But he can’t shake the feeling that something or someone may have triggered her heart attack, that perhaps the woman was threatened. Conversations with the woman’s son, her upstairs neighbor, and the nun in charge of the old-age home where she volunteered, do little to satisfy Brunetti’s nagging curiosity. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, perhaps Brunetti can get to the truth and find some measure of justice. Insightful and emotionally powerful, Drawing Conclusions reaffirms Donna Leon’s status as one of the masters of literary crime fiction.
The Bastards of Pizzofalcone
Author: Maurizio de Giovanni
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1609453255
Pages: 288
Year: 2016-04-05
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A new series of hardboiled crime fiction set in contemporary Naples by the author of the internationally bestselling Commissario Ricciardi series. They've made a fresh start at the Pizzofalcone precinct of Naples. They fired every member of the investigative branch after they were found guilty of corruption. Now, there's a group of detectives, a new commissario, and a new superintendent. The new cops immediately find themselves investigating a high-profile murder that has the whole town on edge. Heading the investigation is Inspector Lojacono, known as "the Chinaman," a cop with a checkered past who is currently riding a reputation as a crack investigator after having captured a serial killer known as "The Crocodile." Lojacono's partner is Aragona, who wants to be known as "Serpico," but the name doesn't stick. Luigi Palma, a.k.a. "Gigi," is the Commissario, Francesco Romano, known as "Hulk," is the slightly self-deluded lieutenant. Lojacono, Aragona, Palma, and Romano are joined by a cast of cops portrayed by bestselling author Maurizio de Giovanni with depth and intimate knowledge of the close-knit world of police investigators. De Giovanni is one of the most dexterous and successful writers of crime fiction currently working in Europe. His award-winning and bestselling novels, all set in Naples, offer a brilliant vision of the criminal underworld and the lives of the cops in Europe's most fabled, atmospheric, dangerous, and lustful city. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Death at La Fenice
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802194133
Pages: 288
Year: 2012-04-20
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Death at La Fenice is the first novel in Donna Leon’s internationally best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. During intermission at the famed La Fenice opera house in Venice, a notoriously difficult conductor is poisoned, and suspects abound. Brunetti, a native Venetian, sets out to unravel the mystery behind the high-profile murder. To do so, he he calls on his knowledge of Venice, its culture, and its dirty politics. Revenge, corruption, and even Italian cuisine play a role. The novel that started it all, Death at La Fenice is an entrancing mystery, rich in atmosphere. “Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon, the expatriate American with the Venetian heart. . . . One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.” —The Washington Post
A Noble Radiance
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 1555849040
Pages: 256
Year: 2009-02-24
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Donna Leon has topped European bestseller lists for more than a decade with a series of mysteries featuring clever Commissario Guido Brunetti. Always ready to bend the rules to uncover the threads of a crime, Brunetti manages to maintain his integrity while maneuvering through a city rife with politics, corruption, and intrigue. In A Noble Radiance a new landowner is summoned urgently to his house not far from Venice when workmen accidentally unearth a macabre grave. The human corpse is badly decomposed, but a ring found nearby proves to be a first clue that reopens an infamous case of kidnapping involving one of Venice's most aristocratic families. Only Commissario Brunetti can unravel the clues and find his way into both the heart of patrician Venice and that of a family grieving for their abducted son.
By Its Cover
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0099591294
Pages: 290
Year: 2015-03-12
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By Its Cover is the much anticipated twenty-third instalment in Donna Leon's bestselling crime series, where Commissario Brunetti is better than ever as he addresses questions of worth and value alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra. When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesnâe(tm)t quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the libraryâe(tm)s regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library's chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone. However, when Franchini is found murdered in his home, the case takes a more sinister turn and soon Brunetti finds himself submerged in the dark secrets of the black market of antiquarian books. Alongside his ever-faithful team of Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra, he delves into the pages of Franchiniâe(tm)s past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.
The Girl of His Dreams
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 1555849032
Pages: 272
Year: 2008-05-13
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Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries have won legions of fans for their evocative portraits of Venetian life. In her novels, food, family, art, history, and local politics play as central a role as an unsolved crime. In The Girl of His Dreams when a friend of Brunetti’s brother, a priest recently returned from years of missionary work, calls with a request, Brunetti suspects the man’s motives. A new, American-style Protestant sect has begun to meet in the city, and it’s possible the priest is merely apprehensive of the competition. But the preacher could also be fleecing his growing flock, so Brunetti and Paola, along with Inspector Vianello and his wife, go undercover. But the investigation has to be put aside when, one cold and rainy morning, a body is found floating in a canal. It is a child, a gypsy girl. Brunetti suspects she fell off a nearby roof while fleeing an apartment she had robbed. He has to inform the distrustful parents, encamped on the mainland, and soon finds himself haunted by the crime--and the girl. Thought-provoking, eye-opening, and profoundly moving, The Girl of His Dreams is classic Donna Leon, a spectacular, heart-wrenching addition to the series.
Willful Behavior
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802198996
Pages: 320
Year: 2010-08-31
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When Commissario Guido Brunetti first meets her, Claudia Leonardo is merely one of his wife Paola’s students. Intelligent and serious, she asks for his help in obtaining a pardon for a crime once committed by her now-dead grandfather. Brunetti thinks little of it—until Claudia is found dead. Unable to find any living relatives, he visits the elderly Austrian woman who was once Claudia’s grandfather’s lover and with whom Claudia was close—and is stunned by the extraordinary art collection she keeps in her otherwise modest apartment. When she, too, is murdered, Brunetti’s investigation uncovers shocking skeletons in the closet of Nazi collaboration that few in Italy want revealed…
Quietly in Their Sleep
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 1555849059
Pages: 318
Year: 2009-02-24
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In Quietly in Their Sleep, the philosophical Venetian detective Commissario Guido Brunetti comes to the aid of a young nursing sister who has left her convent after five of her patients died unexpectedly. In the course of his inquiries Brunetti encounters an unusual cast of characters, but discovers nothing that seems criminal. Is the nun simply creating a smoke screen to justify abandoning her vocation? Or has she stumbled onto something very real and very sinister? Something that places her own life in imminent danger? Quietly in Their Sleep is Donna Leon at the top of her form.
Romanzo Criminale
Author: Giancarlo De Cataldo
Publisher: Atlantic Books Ltd
ISBN: 0857893734
Pages: 576
Year: 2015-09-03
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It is 1977. A new force is terrorising Rome - a mob of reckless, ultraviolent youths known as La Banda della Magliana. As the gang ruthlessly take control of Rome's heroin trade, they begin an inexorable rise to power. Banda della Magliana intend to own the streets of Rome - unless their internal struggles tear them apart. Based on Rome's modern gangland history, Romanzo Criminale fearlessly confronts Italy's Age of Lead: war on the streets and terrorism, kidnappings and corruption at the highest levels of government.
A Question of Belief
Author: Donna Leon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802197116
Pages: 288
Year: 2010-05-04
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Donna Leon’s best-selling series featuring the principled, warmhearted Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti has won her countless fans, critical acclaim, and international renown as one of the world’s best crime writers. In A Question of Belief, Brunetti must contend with ingenious corruption, bureaucratic intransigence, and the stifling heat of a Venetian summer. With his hometown beset by hordes of tourists and baking under a glaring sun, Brunetti’s greatest wish is to go to the mountains with his family, where he can sleep under a down comforter and catch up on his reading. But before he can go on vacation, a folder with court records has landed on his desk, brought by an old friend. It appears that cases at the local court—hardly known as a model of efficiency—are being delayed to the benefit of one of the parties. A creative new trick for corrupting the system, perhaps, but what can Brunetti do about it? And just when it looks like Brunetti will be able to get away, a shocking, violent crime forces him to stay in Venice. This is a stellar addition to Leon’s celebrated series: atmospheric, packed with excellent characters, and building to an explosive, indelible ending.