Synopses & Reviews
Donna Leon's charming, evocative, and addictive Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries are widely acclaimed national and international best sellers, reaching a wider audience in the United States than ever before. Her latest, Suffer the Little Children, is classic Brunetti, a fantastic addition to the series. When Commissario Brunetti is summoned in the middle of the night to the hospital bed of a senior pediatrician, he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men--a young Carabiniere captain and two privates from out of town--had burst into the doctor's apartment while the family was sleeping, attacked him, and taken away his eighteen-month-old boy. What could have motivated an assault by the forces of the state so violent that it has left the doctor mute? Who would have authorized such an alarming operation? As Brunetti delves into the case, he begins to uncover a story of infertility, desperation, and illegal dealings. At the same time, Brunetti's colleague, Inspector Vianello, discovers a moneymaking scam between pharmacists and doctors in the city. But it appears as if one of the pharmacists is after more than money. What secrets are in the records? And what has been done with them? Donna Leon's new novel is as subtle and fascinating as her best mysteries, set in a beautifully realized Venice, a glorious city seething with small-town vice.
Leons sixteenth Commissario Brunetti mystery is brilliant; she has never become perfunctory, never failed to give us vivid portraits of people and of Venice, never lost her fine, disillusioned indignation.
Ursula K. Le Guin, The New York Times
Suffer the Little Children . . . is terrific at providing, through its weary but engaging protagonist, a strong sense of the moral quandaries inherent in Italian society and culture.
San Francisco Chronicle
Donna Leon is the undisputed crime fiction queen. . . . [Her] ability to capture the citys social scene and internal politics is first-rate, as always, but this installment carries extra gravity and welcome plot twists that make it one of the series better efforts.
The Baltimore Sun
A riveting new mystery from international bestseller Donna Leon
Donna Leon?s Commissario Brunetti series has made Venice?a city that?s beautiful and sophisticated, but also secretive and corrupt?one of mystery fans? most beloved locales. In this brilliant new book, Brunetti is summoned to the hospital bed of a respected pediatrician, where he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men had burst into the doctor?s apartment, attacked him, and kidnapped his eighteen-month-old son. What could have motivated an assault so violent that it has left the doctor mute? And could this crime be related to the moneymaking scam run by pharmacists that Brunetti?s colleague has recently uncovered? As Brunetti delves deeper into the case, a story of infertility, desperation, and illegal dealings begins to unfold.
About the Author
A New Yorker of Irish/Spanish descent, Donna Leon first went to Italy in 1965, returning regularly over the next decade or so while pursuing a career as an academic in the States and then later in Iran, China and finally Saudi Arabia. It was after a period in Saudi Arabia, which she found ‘damaging physically and spiritually’ that Donna decided to move to Venice, where she has now lived for over twenty years.
Her debut as a crime fiction writer began as a joke: talking in a dressing room in Venice’s opera-house La Fenice after a performance, Donna and a singer friend were vilifying a particular German conductor. From the thought ‘why don’t we kill him?’ and discussion of when, where and how, the idea for Death at La Fenice took shape, and was completed over the next four months.
Donna Leon is the crime reviewer for the London Sunday Times and is an opera expert. She has written the libretto for a comic opera, entitled Dona Gallina. Set in a chicken coop, and making use of existing baroque music, Donna Gallina was premiered in Innsbruck. Brigitte Fassbaender, one of the great mezzo-sopranos of our time, and now head of the Landestheater in Innsbruck, agreed to come out of retirement both to direct the opera and to play the part of the witch Azuneris (whose name combines the names of the two great Verdi villainesses Azucena and Amneris).