Skip to main content

Donna Leon

Biography

Donna Leon

Donna Leon is the author of the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The winner of the Crime Writers' Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Donna Leon lived in Venice for many years and now divides her time between Venice and Switzerland.

Donna Leon

Books by Donna Leon

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

With his hometown beset by hordes of tourists and baking under a glaring sun, Venetian Commissario Guido 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. And just when it looks like Brunetti will be able to get away, a shocking, violent crime forces him to stay in Venice.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised more consequentially by the appearance of a friend of his wife’s, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene. When the woman’s husband is found unconscious with a serious brain injury at the foot of a bridge in Venice after midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behavior. But the truth, as Brunetti has experienced so often, is not so straightforward.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Count Orazio Falier urges his son-in-law, Guido Brunetti, to investigate --- and preferably intervene in --- the seemingly innocent plan of the Count’s best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would then be heir to Gonzalo’s entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo’s friends find appalling. Gonzalo unexpectedly drops dead on the street, and one of his friends who just arrived in Venice for the memorial service is strangled in her hotel room. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo’s life that ultimately led to murder --- a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Commissario Guido Brunetti loses patience at work, and in the aftermath realizes that he needs a break and is granted leave from the Questura. His wife, Paola, urges him to spend time at a villa owned by a wealthy relative on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he passes his days rowing with the villa’s caretaker, Davide Casati, who is seeking the reason his bee colonies in the laguna are suffering. The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Casati goes missing following a sudden storm. Compelled to investigate, Brunetti sets aside his leave of absence to understand what happened to the man who has become his friend, in the process dredging up dark memories of an accident and cover-up years before.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

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. 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.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Invited by Commissario Guido Brunetti to dine at his in-laws’ palazzo, opera star Flavia Petrelli confesses her alarm at the excessive displays of adoration from an anonymous fan. 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 into the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem --- the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.

written by Donna Leon, narrated by David Colacci - Fiction, Mystery

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem --- the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.

by Donna Leon - Essays, Nonfiction

For many years, Donna Leon has written essays for European publications. Collected here are the best of these: over 50 funny, charming, passionate and insightful essays that range from battles over garbage in the canals to the troubles with rehabbing Venetian real estate. She shares episodes from her life in Venice, explores her love of opera and recounts tales from in and around her country house in the mountains.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor shop-keeping violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. 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 and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Caterina Pellegrini, a native Venetian with a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, goes to Manchester, England to pursue her career. However, Caterina jumps at the opportunity of a position back home --- the job is an unusual one. Two locked trunks containing the papers of a baroque composer have been discovered --- the composer died childless, yet now two Venetians, descendents of his cousins, claim inheritance. Caterina must examine any enclosed papers to discover the “testamentary disposition” of the composer.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Commissario Guido Brunetti has little to work with. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead.

by Donna Leon - Fiction, Mystery

Late one night, Commissario Guido Brunetti is called away from dinner to investigate the death of a widow in her 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.