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Beastly Things (Commissario Brunetti #21)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  3,735 Ratings  ·  515 Reviews
New, and immaculate. See scans and description. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012. 'Beastly Things' by Donna Leon, the 21st title in her Commissario Guido Brunetti series - and by no means the last; the popular series continues. First Edition and First Printing. Octavo, illustrated jacket, old gold boards with white spine imprinting, map endpapers, 296 pp. New, and qu ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Alex is The Romance Fox
This still remains one of my favourite crime/thriller series.
From the 1st line..............I was hooked once again!!
A man lay still, as still as a piece of meat on a slab, as still as death itself.
Beastly Things, the 21st mystery in Donna Leon's Commisario Guido Brunetti Series starts with a body of a man stabbed to death is found floating in one of Venice's canal, whose identity is only revealed half-way through the story.

Brunetti and his side-kick, Vianello The dead man is identified as a
Nov 14, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing
I put these Commissario Brunetti novels in the same category as I do the TV series "Midsomer Murders" - a kind of comfort food for the mind. In neither case, nothing outstanding - just gentle humour and human kindness in a beautiful setting contrasted with the ugliness of real life. This is No. 21 in the Brunetti books I own, and as usual, Donna Leon did not let me down.

Once again, Brunetti pursues in his rather casual way his major interests: family, food and meting out justice (in that order).
Aug 31, 2016 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
WHEW, the funeral at the very ending gave it the 5th star. A Mass with the creatures honoring their doctor. This is a shock- my giving a Donna Leon Brunetti (#21 in the series on top of it) a 5 star. But this one meshed. Totally.

It's early to mid spring and Venice and its canals, the tides which carry a body, the columns and the water gates-all are cored completely into the story. Patta, Elettra, Vianello- and all of the Brunettis become defined in such dialogue! From literary asides of comparis
Aug 08, 2014 Ms.pegasus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Donna Leon
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: browing my local bookstore
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Leon has written a sombre book exploring themes of aging, death, and ethical choices. The sombre note is sounded with a two-page opening which leisurely inspects a nameless corpse in the police morgue. Despite his damaged condition and physical impairments he is viewed with hushed dignity, a mood created by the pronoun 'he' rather than 'it' and the many reminders that this man was recently alive. “It was cold in the room, the only sound the heavy wheeze of the air conditioning. The man's thick c ...more
Lewis Weinstein
May 15, 2012 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
As she often does, Donna Leon raises issues of social and personal responsibility in a way that supports her exciting story and gives the reader much to think about. The political corruption and governmental incompetence strikes close to home for American readers.

All people are weak some times, and Leon positions those who love them to choose whether to accept/forgive that aspect of humanity or whether the offense is egregious enough to end the relationship. There are consequences.

For the faint
Donna Leon's "Beastly Things" is one among a long standing series of mysteries revolving around Commissario Guido Brunetti, taking place in the heart of Venice, Italy. It's my first novel in the progressive series, but from what I understand, it's a mystery that's self-contained, so readers who are just joining the series can partake with it without feeling like they've missed anything. For me, I didn't have as intimate a connection with Guido Brunetti as perhaps other readers who've followed th ...more
Mar 31, 2017 Tony rated it really liked it
BEASTLY THINGS. (2012). Donna Leon. ****.
When you hear the name Donna Leon or the title of one of her mysteries, what’s the first thing you think of? VENICE! Close, but that’s not it – even though all her mysteries are set in that city and presided over by Commissario Guido Brunetti. Another try? How about his wife and her superb cooking? That’s it. It is common for Italian men to make their way back to their home to have lunch with their family. We’re not talking peanut butter and jelly sandwic
Dec 05, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Naomi

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Publication date: April 17, 2012.

This is the first book I read by Donna Leon and I really liked it.

The plot is about a murder investigation when the body of a man is found in a canal without any kind of identification.

Commissario Brunetti is in charge of this crime and the police takes at least two days in order to find the true identify of the unknown victim since nobody claims for his dis
Gloria Feit
Aug 03, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
There usually are three common elements in any Guido Brunetti mystery: The City of Venice plays a central role. Then there is the crime for the Commissario to solve. And, lastly, there is a significant social issue running through the novel. This, the 21st novel in the series, is no exception. A man is fished out of a Venetian canal, having been stabbed in the back. Brunetti sets off to find the murderer, and witnesses corruption on a massive scale among public officials and private business.

Beverly Swerling
Apr 26, 2012 Beverly Swerling rated it really liked it
I adore Leon's Brunetti series for the writing, the superb characterization, and the exquisite evocation of beautiful Venice. If her stories display cracks it is in the area of plot, and in Beastly Things that fissure is a bit wider than usual. It isn't that the events that create incident in BT are illogical or forced - sometimes what we mean when we talk of a less than wonderful plot. The problem here is predictability. Everything fits too well.

Leon writes with no foreshadowing, that's part o
First Sentence: A man lay still, as still as a piece of meat on a slab, as still as death itself.

It starts with a body found in a canal; stabbed to death, no wallet and wearing only one shoe. His physical structure should make him fairly easy to identify, and does. A man who loves animals and is separated from his wife who seems not to particularly care that her husband is dead. But it is the man’s secondary profession which raises questions, not only about the murder, but about the politics and
Toni Osborne
Sep 07, 2012 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it
Book 21 in the Commissario Brunetti series

The appeal in this series has been the leisurely approach Commissiario Brunnetti has in solving crimes, it was refreshing to see him pick up the pace and exert himself with a lot more hands on action this time. The structure has not change a whole lot, we still experience Venice through the eyes of Brunetti and of course his wonderful family and their customs always play an important part in the staging of the mystery. This novel explores the dark side o
May 19, 2017 Noora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Nopealukuinen ja ihan ok Brunetti-kirja, jossa tällä kertaa keskityttiin enemmän juoneen kuin Brunettin perheen tai ruoan kuvaamiseen. Näitä lukee aina mielellään, vaikkei näissä sen syvällisempää monesti olekaan. Tämänkin kirjan eläinsuojelullinen anti jäi aika ohueksi.
Apr 26, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Very exciting to go to the library and find the latest Donna Leon novel, set always in Venice. The author chooses a contemporary Italian problem as the nexus of each novel; in this case the safety of the meat industry. Commissario Guido Brunetti will find a way to deliver justice, but maybe not the legal way--in Italy, that could take too long. In this book Brunetti enters the 21st century--when he enters his office, there is a computer on his desk. Usually he relies on Pucetti and Signorina Ele ...more
May 12, 2012 Jon rated it liked it
Unlike several of Donna Leon's most recent Brunetti mysteries, this one has a very clear-cut position on exactly who is guilty of what, and the matter is resolved in pretty much the traditional mystery way. The title refers both to the murder victim, who is a veterinarian, and to a slaughterhouse and meat-processing plant where he worked. At one point Brunetti visits the killing floor, and I will not be surprised if he follows his daughter in becoming a vegetarian in the next book. Perhaps I'm j ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Emma rated it it was amazing
Reading a Guido Brunetti novel is like meeting up with an old friend. You know what to expect, but it's always enjoyable, usually stimulating and sometimes surprising. Based broadly around issues of animal welfare and ethical food production, Beastly Things has the usual mix of Byzantine Italian politics, power and privilege. This one is a little more mainland-based than usual, but still provides a Venice fix for fellow Italophiles. There's more sexual politics than usual, and the novel has a ha ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Jun 09, 2016 Gisela Hafezparast rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite Brunetti novels so far. The characterisation of this one is more varied with all the characters being drawn well. It is another insight into Venetian life, this time also drawing on issues of the mainland. I have just come back from from a wonderful trip to Venice which made Venice even more vivid. Great background stories as well as a really interesting crime. Would really recommend this book.
May 06, 2013 John rated it did not like it
Workmanlike police detective novel based in Venice, Italy. Inspector Brunetti is on a case of man found dead in the canal and uncovers a plain little ruse in an abbatoir in Mestre. So in fact, most of the case occurs in Mestre, one of the dullest places in the world.

Frankly, there are better things to read.
Lauren Fidler seems i've reached an impasse with this series (only my second book in but the 21st in the lot).

i like guido - he's a gentle presence in a detective story. there's a lot of thinking and drinking coffee and dealing with his wife and the politics of venice and more coffee and then a tidy wrap up to his mystery. it's a little like the "midsomer murders" series - you could pretty much fall asleep for parts of it but still enjoy it and not miss anything crucial.

these aren't "try to solve them
Jan 02, 2017 Pamela rated it really liked it
This might have been the installment of one of my favorite series that broke through to five stars, and there is so much to recommend it. From the tight plotting of the mystery, to the nuanced prose (with a lovely allusion to one of Paul's letters), to the satisfying conclusion and tear-inducing funeral for the murdered man, along with the strong moral fiber that underlies each Brunetti book.

But here is also where it fell short for me. Brunetti's deep sense of ethics, informed by his constant r
Ich bin immer etwas zwiegespalten beim Lesen der Brunetti Bücher. Zum einen kann ich mich aufgrund von regelmäßiger Rückkehr ins Brunetti Universum über einen Zeitraum von bald 20 Jahren sofort in Brunettis Venedig verorten. Kaum eine Welt ist mir vertrauter (vielleicht abgesehen von Harry Potters’), kaum eine Wohnung gemütlicher als die, die ich für Familie Brunetti in meinem Kopf entworfen habe. Zum anderen habe ich in den letzten 20 Jahren so viel mehr gelesen, so viel mehr reflektiert und mi ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Vianello, Signorina Ellettra, and Guido Brunetti's daughter all gave up eating meat, especially beef, some time ago, for humanitarian reasons and also because so many diseased animals end up in the food chain. The topic is beginning to give gourmand Brunetti serious pause. When he's assigned to the case of a veterinarian whose body, punctured with stab wounds, is found floating in a canal, he'll soon have even more reasons to watch what he eats.

Beastly Things is a fine police procedural, in whic
Apr 12, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing
Comissario Guido Brunetti understands all too well the depth of corruption in the government of his native country. He is saddened by a culture that is whipped to a frenzy by the death of a pretty young girl while ignoring the more important issues. (Sound familiar?) When a veterinarian's body is found in a canal, Brunetti's investigation leads to a corrupt slaughterhouse that is allowing sick and diseased animals to be processed for meat. There are some uncomfortable scenes that may enforce veg ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Commissario Guido Brunetti is the main character in all of the Donna Leon books. Ms. Leon has lived in Venice for thirty years now and her books just get better and better. None of her books, not even "Beastly Things" ever cross the line of decency. They are the kind of books I could lend to my daughter or my mother. Venice is the setting and of course the Commissario, as a lead Venice detective, is a decent and likable character, as are most of the rest of his cohorts. Of course his boss is a n ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Pam rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I just LOVE Guido and his family; Vianello grows so much more intersting and wise; Pucetti expands into the picture.. and Ms Leon manages to keep things current and intesting even as I become more and more a part of Venice! I can even remember, when the books started, no telefonino and Senorina Eletra was THE wunderkind of the computer. Now Guido has his own machine and dips his toe into browsing on his own...not the main thrust of the story, of course, but some things that just ...more
Sep 03, 2016 Sharyn rated it really liked it
It was interesting reading this after the recent earthquake in Italy and the findings that many of the buildings were not reconstructed correctly due to corruption. Corruption is something that Brunetti deals with in every case. The mystery that begins this book is the death of a veterinarian , which leads to a slaughterhouse which leads to corruption. The mystery is never really the important parts of these books it is Brunetti and how he thinks, and what is going on in Venice that makes this b ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Antoinette rated it it was amazing
Wow. Donna Leon is better than ever in her twenty-first novel, Beastly Things, in the Commissario Guido Brunetto mytery series. As stated in the Globe and Mail (Canada) "Leon's characters are more interesting now than they were eighteen years ago." A dead man shows up in the canals of Venice, the territory of Commissario Guido Brunetti. With the help of Inspector Vianello and Signorina Elletra, Brunelli detects the influence of the administrators of the slaughterhouse were the dead veterinarian ...more
May 18, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
A man is pulled out of a Venice canal with stab wounds in his back and Commissario Brunetti is called to investigate. From the beginning this book is a disappointment in a usually fine series. The man is given a rare disease that seems to serve no other plot purpose than to shorten the investigation into his identity. The solution to the murder is clear from about the middle of the book. It appears that the author’s purpose in writing the book was to convince readers to become vegetarians. If so ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Judith rated it really liked it
I already love Venice and this series only adds to that love.

Commissario Guido Brunetti takes on the case of a man found floating in a canal. Discovering his identity is trickier than one might think, but the autopsy reveals something about him that helps.

An underlying theme of this one is the way we treat animals. I was happy to see the issue of meat-eating arise, as well as the conditions of slaughterhouses. There is no preaching here, however, so meat-eaters can read it comfortably (but o
May 12, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, italy, fiction, travel
Donna Leon is such a master of the Venetian Mystery...she has a feel for a people, dwindling though they might be, and a place, as seemingly well known as it is, that makes every new novel, once a year in the spring simply a delight. A visit with old friends, for a chat about things familiar and unfamiliar and each encounter leads to yet another insight into the matters that most tug at Donna Leon's sleave...this time out it is the industrial slaughter establishment and the role of the vet in th ...more
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Donna Leon (born September 29, 1942, in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for over twenty-five years. She has worked as a lecturer in English Literature for the University of Maryland University College - Europe (UMUC-Europe) in Italy, then as a Professor
More about Donna Leon...

Other Books in the Series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)
  • Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2)
  • Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3)
  • Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)
  • Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5)
  • Quietly in Their Sleep (Commissario Brunetti, #6)
  • A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti, #7)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)

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