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review 2015-08-05 15:56
So, a funny thing...
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon,Richard Morant

…it turns out I've read this book before. I figured that out from a single detail—the only detail I remembered because it was so Italian—and continued listening to the book like it was my first time reading it.


Unmemorable as it was, it was also a decent book. Nothing spectacular but neither anything truly terrible, except for a few chosen plot threads and the ending. Intolerance of homosexuality is a thing that still happens, in Italy too, but the author makes it unnecessarily salacious. Even if this book was written and published almost a quarter century ago.


Then there's the ending. Last time, I assume I liked it, but this time I cannot. What Brunetti's silence reaffirms effectively robs a someone their voice and chance to heal.




The narrator, Richard Morant, was competent but made me question whether all British narrators are taught the exact same accents and whether or not he understands what "without an accent" means.


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text 2015-08-02 13:04
Reading progress update: I've listened 50 out of 450 minutes.
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon,Richard Morant

Why does the narrator give an American character who "speaks Italian without an accent" a definite twang?

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review 2015-07-25 00:00
Death at La Fenice
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon 63. DEATH AT LA FENICE, BY DONNA LEON (Book 1 of Commissario Brunetti)

Recommended by the delightful nous-contre-eux​ (Mimi). And it was a delightful read.

Synopsis: A world-famous conductor is found dead in his dressing-room in the middle of a performance in the biggest opera house in Venice. Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario, has to delve deep into the maestro’s past for the investigation.

Overall enjoyment: It was a very pleasant book to read. Not really a thriller, but a very good mystery. The pacing was slower and more relaxed than you usually find in the genre, and it plays right into the general atmosphere of the story.

Plot: Like I said, slow-paced, but not bad. There is some suspense but it’s not really the big focus. The mystery in itself, the whodunnit, is a bit naïve, but not the events leading to it.

Characters: Very satisfying. Atypically, Brunetti has a healthy relationship with his wife and a happy family life; that in itself is already a breath of fresh air.

World/setting: She describes Venice very vividly; it’s worth reading the book just for that. The little details on procedure and politics during the investigation add a special flavor to it.

Writing style: Clean and straightforward.

Representation: Not very good when it comes to POC (although there are some cameos), but there is a lesbian couple that is central to the story.

Political correctness: No major complaints here. The female characters are very interesting and play a big part on the story. If I had to criticize something, I’d say that it’s a bit too indulgent of the famously fragile male ego, but that’s probably nitpicking.

Up next: Down the Darkest Road, by Tami Hoag
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review 2014-07-06 17:40
#BookADayUK - Day 5: Most Delicious Novel About Food
Bruno Chef de police - Martin Walker
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon

For day 5's topic two cozy mystery series came to my mind at once: The Bruno, Chief of Police Novels by Martin Walker (set in the Perigord in France) and the Commisario Brunetti novels by Donna Leon (set in Venice, Italy).

In both series food plays a major role and you just wish you could sit at the respective tables and eat with the characters!

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review 2013-08-25 00:00
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon Mild mannered detective finds out who done it. If you're looking for gun fights and people flying over cars with the wind whipping through their hair, that not here. Which is a nice change of pace and an actual preference for me. Love the detective's marriage. I'm in a library bookclub that read this book and I found it very, very, very hard to believe the reaction of one of the women to someone she loves. I will say again, instinct would rule out. So there! (raspberry sounding!!!!)

I'm not sure if I'll read the rest of the series anytime soon, but it's definitely one I hope to get to eventually. 3-1/2 stars
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