LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Donna Leon - Author

About the Author

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.

 

author photo © Regine Mosimann

Featured books by Donna Leon

By its Cover

By its Cover

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

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 doesn't quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library'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 Franchini's past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.

ebook of the month
By Its Cover

By Its Cover

Author: Donna Leon Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/04/2014

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 doesn't quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library'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 Franchini's past and into the mind of a book thief in order to uncover the terrible truth.

ebook of the month
A Question of Belief

A Question of Belief

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2011

As Venice experiences a debilitating heatwave, Commissario Brunetti prepares to escape the city and spend time with his family in the mountains. For Ispettore Vianello, however, the weather is the last thing on his mind; it appears his aunt has become obsessed with horoscopes and has been withdrawing large amounts of money from the family business. Not knowing what to do, he consults Brunetti and asks permission to trail her. This 'unofficial' investigation leads them to the flat of Stefano Gorini. But who is this man? And why is Vianello's aunt giving him large amounts of money? Meanwhile, Brunetti receives a visit from a friend who works at the Commune. It seems that discrepancies have been occurring at the Courthouse involving Judge Luisa Coltellini and Araldo Fontana, an usher with a flawless track record. Intrigued, Brunetti asks Signorina Elletra to find out what she can while he is away on his family holiday. When news reaches Brunetti that Araldo Fontana has been murdered in a violent attack, he returns to the city to head up the investigation. But why would someone want a good man dead, and what might his death have to do with the discrepancies at the Courthouse? It soon becomes clear that things are not what they seem, and as suspicions arise Brunetti has to dig ever deeper to uncover the truth behind the facade.

ebook of the month

Other books by Donna Leon

The Jewels of Paradise

The Jewels of Paradise

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2013

From the bestselling author of the Brunetti crime series comes The Jewels of Paradise, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history and greed and Donna Leon's first stand-alone novel. Caterina Pellegrini is a young Venetian musicologist hired to find the rightful heir to an alleged treasure concealed by a once-famous, but now almost forgotten, baroque composer. Sworn to secrecy, Caterina can solve the mystery only by searching through the papers contained in two chests that have not been opened for centuries. As she delves into all quarters of his life, she is drawn into one of the most scandalous affairs of the baroque era. What dark secrets do these chests hold, and just whom can she trust?

Golden Egg

Golden Egg

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2013

Beastly Things (Brunetti 21)

Beastly Things (Brunetti 21)

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

When a body is found floating in a canal, strangely disfigured and with multiple stab wounds, Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate and is convinced he recognises the man from somewhere. However, with no identification except for the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, the case cannot progress. Brunetti soon realises why he remembers the dead man, and asks Signorina Elettra if she can help him find footage of a farmers' protest the previous autumn. But what was his involvement with the protest, and what does it have to do with his murder? Acting on the fragile lead, Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello set out to uncover the man's identity. Their investigation eventually takes them to a slaughterhouse on the mainland, where they discover the origin of the crime, and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it. Both a gripping case and a harrowing exploration of the dark side of Italy's meat industry, Donna Leon's latest novel is a compelling addition to the Brunetti series.

Venetian Curiosities

Venetian Curiosities

Author: Donna Leon Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2012

In a city as ancient as Venice, myths and legends passed down from generation to generation record more than just love or murder. They are the storehouse of a city's mores, emblems of its identity. In Venetian Curiosities , acclaimed novelist Donna Leon recounts some of Venice's most intriguing tales: an elephant brought in for Carnival wreaks havoc upon the city before seeking refuge in a church, the city employs prostitutes in an attempt to prevent homosexuality, innocent men are mistakenly condemned to death, a gambler bets the family palazzo. In an introduction and seven essays, Leon offers enchanting details and astute insights into Venetian customs of the past and present. Venetian Curiosities is beautifully illustrated and, like Handel's Bestiary, it comes with a CD. Here the music is by Antonio Vivaldi, with tracks for each section of the book, expertly played by Il Complesso Barocco. With the splendid music, the delightful images, and the perceptive, amusing words of Donna Leon, Venetian Curiosities is a harmonious exploration of one of the world's most beloved cities.

Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 20/04/2012

Death at La Fenice is the first novel in Donna Leons 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

Fatal Remedies

Fatal Remedies

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2012

In Fatal Remedies, Brunetti's career is under threat when his professional and personal lives unexpectedly intersect. In the chill of the Venetian dawn, a sudden act of vandalism shatters the quiet of the deserted city, and Brunetti is shocked to find that the culprit waiting to be apprehended at the scene is a member of his own family. Meanwhile, he is also under pressure from his superiors to solve a daring robbery with connections to a suspicious accidental death. Could the two crimes be connected? And will Brunetti be able to prove his family's innocence before it's too late?

Drawing Conclusions (Brunetti 20)

Drawing Conclusions (Brunetti 20)

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

A young woman returns from holiday to find her elderly neighbour dead on the floor. A heart attack seems the likely cause, but Commissario Brunetti is not so sure and decides to take a closer look. Soon he discovers that she was part of an organization that cares for abused women and that her apartment was a safe-house. Convinced that this is the lead he has been looking for, Brunetti begins his search for answers. But as he sets out to discover the truth behind her death, he is drawn into a decades-old story of lies and deceit that has blighted love and ruined lives - and has claimed this innocent woman as its newest victim. Brunetti's investigation takes him deep into the dark heart of his beloved Venice.

A Venetian Reckoning

A Venetian Reckoning

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2012

A lorry crashes on one of the treacherous bends in the Italian Dolomites, spilling a terrible cargo . . . A prominent international layer is found dead in the carriage of an intercity train at Saint Lucia . . . Can the two tragedies possibly be connected? Commissario Guido Brunetti digs deep into the secret lives of the once great and good for the answer. For in a seedy Venetian bar lies the clue to an evil crime network reaching far beyond the laguna. But it will take another violent death in Venice before the forces of justice can even begin to proceed . . .

The Death of Faith

The Death of Faith

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2012

Commissario Guido Brunetti is kicking his heels, pondering the recent lack of crime in Venice, when a beautiful young woman appears at his office door. Now calling herself Maria Testa, his visitor is more familiar to Brunetti as Suor'lmmacolata, the nun who once cared for his mother at the casa di cura in Dolo. But Maria has recently left her convent after the unexpected deaths of five patients. Brunetti offers to make some enquiries, but finds now obvious cause for concern. Is Maria simply creating fears to justify abandoning her vocation? Or has she stumbled on to a deeply rooted, far more sinister scenario - and put her own life in very grave danger . . . ?

Acqua Alta

Acqua Alta

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2012

Commissario Guido Brunetti of the Venice Questura is shocked to hear that Brett Lynch, a friend since a murder case at La Fenice, has suffered a savage beating. The attack, in the beautiful palazzo home of Flavia Petrelli, reigning diva of La Scala, had come with a message: 'Don't keep that appointment with Dottor Semenzato.' Then, with the storm clouds gathering fast over the city, a man's body is found . . .

Willful Behavior

Willful Behavior

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 03/11/2011

Mystery lovers everywhere are addicted to Donna Leon's ever-honorable Commissario Guido Brunetti and her portrayal of Venice's beautiful but sinister byways and canals. In Willful Behavior, Brunetti is approached for a favor by one of his wife's students. Intelligent and serious, Claudia Leonardo 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. Soon, another corpse and an extraordinary art collection lead Brunetti to long-buried secrets of Nazi collaboration and the exploitation of Italian Jews-secrets few in Italy want revealed.

Sea of Troubles

Sea of Troubles

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 01/08/2011

Dona Leon has amassed devoted fans around the world for her atmospheric and intelligent Commissario Brunetti series. A Sea of Troubles offers a rare glimpse into the scrupulous Commissario's personal life. When Brunetti investigates the murder of two local fishermen on the island of Pellestrina, the small community closes ranks, forcing him to accept Signorina Elettra's offer to visit her relatives there to search for clues. Though loyal to his beloved wife, Paola, he must admit that less-than-platonic emotions underlie his concern for his boss's beautiful secretary. Suspenseful, provocative, and deeply unsettling, A Sea of Troubles is an explosive and irresistible addition to Leon's marvelous series.

Handel's Bestiary

Handel's Bestiary

Author: Donna Leon Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2011

When Donna Leon, the acclaimed author of the best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series, is not conjuring up tales of crime and corruption in Venice, she is listening to opera. Over the years, Leon has noticed that her favourite composer, George Frideric Handel, filled his operas with arias that make reference to animals; rich in symbolism, the perceived virtues and vices of the lion, bee, nightingale, snake, elephant, and tiger, among others, resonate in his works. In Handel's Bestiary, Leon draws on her love of Handel and her expertise in medieval bestiaries-illustrated collections of animal stories-to assemble a bestiary of her own. Twelve chapters trace twelve animals through history, mythology, and the arias. Each is joined by whimsical original illustrations by German painter Michael Sowa. The accompanying CD includes each aria, expertly recorded by Il Complesso Barocco, Karina Gauvin, Ann Hallenberg, Paul Agnew, and Anicio Zorzi, with Alan Curtis conducting. Fascinating and utterly original, Handel's Bestiary springs to life with Leon's knowledge and wit.

Handel's Bestiary

Handel's Bestiary

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 05/04/2011

This is the Enhanced eBook edition of Handel's Bestiary featuring music by George Frederic Handel with Alan Curtis conducting Il Complesso Barocco.When acclaimed novelist Donna Leon is not conjuring up tales of crime and corruption in Venice, or reveling in delicious cuisine, she is listening to music. For Leon, patron of conductor Alan Curtis and his celebrated orchestra Il Complesso Barocco, that usually means the work of her favorite composer, George Frideric Handel.Over the years, Leon has noticed that the great musician filled his operas with arias that make reference to animals; rich in symbolism, the perceived virtues and vices of the lion, bee, nightingale, snake, elephant, and tiger, among others, resonate in his works. In Handel's Bestiary, Leon draws on her love of Handel and her expertise in medieval bestiaries--illustrated collections of animal stories--to assemble a bestiary of her own. Twelve chapters trace twelve animals through history, mythology, and the arias. Each chapter is joined by whimsical original illustrations by German painter Michael Sowa, and the embedded audio includes each aria, expertly recorded by Il Complesso Barocco. A fascinating, utterly original book, Handel's Bestiary springs to life with Leon's knowledge, passion, and wit.

Drawing Conclusions

Drawing Conclusions

Author: Donna Leon Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2011

Late one night, Commissario Guido Brunetti's telefonino rings. A old woman's body has been found in a Spartan apartment on Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio. Brunetti sees some signs of force on the old woman, but they could just as easily have been from the radiator near where she fell. When the medical examiner rules that the woman died of a heart attack, it seems there is nothing to investigate. But he can't shake the feeling that perhaps the woman was threatened.

A Question of Belief

A Question of Belief

Author: Donna Leon Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2011

As Venice experiences a debilitating heatwave, Commissario Brunetti prepares to escape the city and spend time with his family in the mountains. For Ispettore Vianello, however, the weather is the last thing on his mind; it appears his aunt has become obsessed with horoscopes and has been withdrawing large amounts of money from the family business. Not knowing what to do, he consults Brunetti and asks permission to trail her. This 'unofficial' investigation leads them to the flat of Stefano Gorini. But who is this man? And why is Vianello's aunt giving him large amounts of money? Meanwhile, Brunetti receives a visit from a friend who works at the Commune. It seems that discrepancies have been occurring at the Courthouse involving Judge Luisa Coltellini and Araldo Fontana, an usher with a flawless track record. Intrigued, Brunetti asks Signorina Elletra to find out what she can while he is away on his family holiday. When news reaches Brunetti that Araldo Fontana has been murdered in a violent attack, he returns to the city to head up the investigation. But why would someone want a good man dead, and what might his death have to do with the discrepancies at the Courthouse? It soon becomes clear that things are not what they seem, and as suspicions arise Brunetti has to dig ever deeper to uncover the truth behind the facade.

ebook of the month