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Feine Freunde : Commissario Brunettis neunter Fall ; Roman (Commissario Brunetti #9)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,400 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
Ein bürokratisches Damoklesschwert hängt über Familie Brunetti: Überglücklich hatten sie damals, vor zwanzig Jahren, als frischverheiratetes Paar, Paola in Erwartung, ihre Wohnung über den Dächern von Venedig erworben – ohne viel zu fragen. Und jetzt steht plötzlich ein Beamter vom Katasteramt, Franco Rossi, vor der Tür und stellt Fragen nach der Baugenehmigung und anderen ...more
336 pages
Published December 2002 by Diogenes (first published 2000)
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Alex is The Romance Fox
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Friends in High Places, the 9th novel in the Commissario Brunetti Series starts with Brunetti enjoying a relaxing day at his home, which is interrupted by the news of an official from Officio Castato, the registrar of buildings in Venice, that his apartment on the top floor of one of the oldest buildings in San Polo, Venice may have not received planning permission and it may result in it having to be pulled down if the papers are not found.
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Before Brunetti can solve this problem, the person who
Nov 17, 2008 Bruce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read Friends in High Places by Donna Leon as an “airplane book” when I’d finished something more interesting and was curious to read a novel that might capture the ambiance of Venice. To call this a “light read” would be an understatement, it being less than even mildly entertaining. The writing itself is simple to the point of being boring, and the plot lacks intrinsic interest even as Leon introduces subplots that go nowhere and end up having little if anything to do with the primary mystery ...more
I'm surprised to see some of the negative ratings here. Perhaps it's because you need to get to know the characters and appreciate the interplay between Guido, his wife, Paula, and his children. Or, it could be that some folks just prefer action-packed shoot-em-ups rather (I can appreciate those too) than character and place studies. I suspect if you like DeKok and Maigret these will really appeal to you.

That being said, I really enjoyed Anna Fields reading this 9th in the series. Again, Italian
Mar 31, 2016 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the ninth adventure of Venice Police Commissioner Guido Brunetti. Guido is one small man with a badge who is continually pitted against the big wheel of Italian corruption - which he inadvertently stumbles into book after book while doing his job - which is usually solving murder cases. These books are pseudo-police procedurals/mysteries. I use the term “pseudo” because the culprits are either known from the very beginning or tossed in at the very end. The series is also very formulaic – ...more
I love Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti series! All the things that contribute to a good mystery - a rich recurring cast of characters with lots of ongoing dynamics, murders where the whodunit isn't easily guessable and plot twists and turns to keep things moving along. The bonus in these stories is Venice, as much of a character as the humans who populate Leon's novels. I love the leisurely pace of these stories, reflecting the relaxed culture of Venice.

I enjoyed this story of corruption in th
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brunetti, mystery
Friends in High Places[return]Donna Leon[return][return]9th in the Commisario Brunetti series, set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]Brunetti receives a visitor from the Officio Castato, the Registration Office, that controls permits and titles to all property in Venice. The visitor, Franco Rossi, tells a totally panicked Brunetti that because there is no record of the renovations that constitute his apartment to the building, the best he can hope for is a huge fine but the possibility exists tha ...more
May 15, 2013 Larraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this Inspector Brunetti, first published in 2000, police Comissario Brunetti takes on an investigation after getting a visit from a young employee of the government agency that oversees building permits. He is following up on a letter that Brunetti had received that was so full of government gibberish that he gave up on it. Now the young man is telling him that there's a problem with the apartment he and his wife bought 12 years before. Apparently it was built atop a 15th century building sho ...more
Toni Osborne
Feb 12, 2009 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also under the title "The Dark Side of Venice"

(The ninth book in the Guido Brunetti series)

One day, Commissario Brunetti is visited by Franco Rossi, a young bureaucrat concerned about the lack of official approval to build his apartment years before. There are no existing plans for this addition in the registry's office; in fact, on record, the flat was never built. The Brunetti family fears a blackmail scenario, resulting in demolition or an enormous fine even though the original construction w
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 Gerald Sinstadt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much crime fiction is transportable. Change the names of the streets, adjust the thermometer, translate the ciao's and the auf widersehen's and the seeya's and the actual mechanics of the plot will often work as well in Rome as they do in Boston or Berlin. But not with Donna Leon's novels. Venice is more than a backdrop; the culture of the city is integral to the fabric of the story. For sure there are other corrupt communities in the world but perhaps none quite like the claustrophobic backscra ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 9th book in the series, and proves to be just as entertaining as the previous eight.

"When Commissario Guido Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat concerned to investigate the lack of official approval for the building of his apartment years before, his first reaction, like any other Venetian, even a cop, is to think of whom he knows who might bring pressure to bear on the relevant local government department. But when the bureaucrat rings him at work, clearly scared by some infor
Jul 12, 2013 Sue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book in a charity shop as part of an offer - 5 paperbacks for 1 so I suppose I only paid 20p for it but, seemingly like many of the Venetians in the story, I was robbed.
I kept waiting for the plot to thicken but it never did and the only way it could be described as a page turner is because the print is so big.
I found the constant references to corruption, apathy and incompetence amongst the officialdom of Italy rather depressing and if this is truly the state of affairs I am s
Nov 11, 2011 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This installment included two different stories regarding corruption in the finance/loan sharking in Venice and drugs sold to young adults. It's two different and unrelated stories and this would have been much, much better if it'd focused on one story or the other. Patta's son is arrested for drug dealing and a young man dies of an overdose and another group of kids are killed/injured in a car accident - I suppose there was a connection but it was never really clarified. A building inspector di ...more
Sara Van Dyck

The plot is lightweight, but what I like about this book is probably true of other Commissario Brunetti mysteries, the atmosphere and setting: Venice, campos, and sliding down the canals. Then there’s the acknowledgment of how pervasive corruption is, with moneylenders, bribes, a city decaying from negligence. I wonder how the Venetians feel about Leon’s portrayal of their body politic?

I also enjoy the complicated psychological and ethical considerations, especially facing the reality that witho
In Donna Leon's Friends in High Places, the 9th book in the Commissario Brunnetti Italian mystery series, we were introduced to another suspenseful mystery in beautiful Italy. It all started when a young bureaucrat visited Guido to investigate the lack of official approval for his apartment building, his first impression was on who he knows to bring pressure on that government department. But when he rung him at work and sounded scared, he was late found dead when he had fallen from some scaffol ...more
Typical Leon. A good read set in one of my favourite cities, Venice.
David Gee
May 08, 2016 David Gee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm a bit late coming to Donna Leon and Commisario Guido Brunetti. Writing a book set in Venice myself (see Lillian and the Italians on, I've avoided anything that might colour my own view of the city. Easy to see why Signora Leon has such a big following: she is a very fine writer.

Here, Brunetti investigates the suspicious deaths of a building inspector in a fall and a decomposing overdosed drug addict. There seems to be a link to the activities of a pair of elderly money
Dana Clinton
Jun 13, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making steady progress through this delightful series; this is the tenth. Once again, we know all the answers, and we know that Brunetti will not see the guilty punished, although he exacts a rather impressive revenge at the end on one of the truly guilty that will most likely be more hard for that person to bear than any jail time would have been. This story begins with a mild mannered building officer showing up at the Brunetti's apartment (not knowing Guido is a Commissario) and claiming the ...more
Sep 14, 2015 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a different, rather pessimistic, story. While there wasn't a major case in this one there were several things that came up, all with a sense of perhaps about them. Is this a real case?

Brunetti and Paola receive the visit of a man from the Ufficio Catasta (housing department)who tells them that their home is not officially listed in their department and therefore doesn't legally exist. It was never built. Suddenly this man, a nervous, shy man with a strong fear of heights, calls with so
Apr 24, 2015 Lois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brunetti comes to the aid of his superior, Vice-Questure Patta when Patta's son is arrested to selling drugs. Later on, the death of a young student from an overdose adds to Brunetti's concern over drug trafficking and his own children. Ever thoughtful, Brunetti and Paola consider how they themselves avoided the attraction of drug usage.
In the meantime, Brunetti is visited by an earnest young bureaucrat who is working for a government office which seems to be updating information about restorati
Nov 03, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti books are always a pleasure. I like the man, I like his family, I love the meals he eats, and I always become involved in the plot. In a country where corruption and Mafia-led intrigues are the norm, Brunetti himself is incorruptible, but he's a fallible and entirely likeable detective.

This time, he has a moral dilemma himself. Does he really have title to his apartment? And if not, should he pull the strings to regularise his position? While he's mulling things
Jun 01, 2014 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a book club; it’s the 9th in a series of crime novels based on detective Brunetti, and set in Venice. As a fan of crime thrillers I looked forward to reading a Venetian one, but alas I was disappointed. I found the characters undeveloped and the plot rather weak and meandering, with dead ends and unresolved crimes . It didn’t really evoke much of a sense of Venice for me either, apart from the underlying corruption of the local government and links with various criminals. Brunett ...more
Mark Robison
It starts with three chapters about Venice bureaucracy over building permits so I seriously considered giving up. But then the police procedural kicks in as a bureaucrat ends up dead. It’s a solid, very well-written, kind of high-brow mystery with a well-considered philosophical discussion about using friends to get out of legal trouble, for things small and big. This is supposed to be her best book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, winning a Silver Dagger award. But it just didn’t compe ...more
Jean Doane
My friends John Bentley and Millie Hoelscher from church got me started reading Donna Leon's mysteries, set in Venice, featuring Commisario of Police Guido Brunetti. We borrow these novels from the book cart at church--a good way to keep books circulating. I love the uniquely Venetian touches that lend verisimilitude to these novels: traveling the canals, using the vaparetto (the water taxi), the Italian names and phrases throughout the story. Like most detective series, these novels are escape ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Dany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Friends in High Places (Comissario Brunetti #9) by Donna Leon Comissario Brunetti is visited by a building inspector who tells him there are some irregularities with his apartment. A few weeks later, that same inspector calls him, telling him he thinks there's something weird in the place where he works, but never gets the chance to explain. He is dead within the next 24 hours. Everything seems like an accident, but Brunetti has lived in Venetia long enough to know nothing is so simple.

This mystery novel involves the same characters as her other novels. It's a harmless read. I get a little frustrated by the plot lines that go nowhere, but it strikes me as more typical in a real police investigation as they investigate leads that aren't related. I'm more used to everything going somewhere, so I am learning to ignore the red herrings. It does not make me want to visit or live in Venice since the whole city seems lazy and corrupt. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. Nothing ...more
Jun 25, 2016 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Commissario Brunetti mystery. The interweaving of a seemingly minor and accidental death with corruption in housing, including the threatening of the existence of the Brunettis' apartment, is fascinating. Brunetti solves the immediate crime, but not the larger systemic corruption in Venice. As is so often the case, the "justice" such as it is, is mixed. However, I have never seen Brunetti angrier at the instigator of the murders, even though he cannot prosecute them. But the ru ...more
Kit Howard
Mar 21, 2015 Kit Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have little patience with politics and keeping track of favours, so this book deeply convinced me that I should never ever live in Venice lol. This is, at least in part, because of the utterly convincing portrait Leon paints of the city, who is as much a character in the novel as Brunetti, the primary character. The story is, as always, beautifully crafted and engaging, with characters who are, despite the bone-deep corruption that guides them, amusing and believable. Brunetti's constant strug ...more
Feb 18, 2016 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. .
Aug 30, 2015 Cliff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brunetti becomes embroiled in the death of a young surveyor working for the city of Venice, with young drug addicts and with money lenders and with general corruption. Very disquieting if it is an accurate depiction of the state of affairs beneath the glistening facade of Venice known to the tourists. The only bright spot in the whole miserable situation is the character of Brunetti himself who even becomes cross with his wife when he thinks she has been pulling strings with her father, il Conte ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Shuriu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It was when I was washing the windows, and that's what made me think of you," she added, surprising him.
"Why the windows?"
"I was washing them, and then I did the mirror in the bathroom, and that's when I thought of what you do."
He knew she'd continue, even if he said nothing, but he also knew she liked to be encouraged, so he asked, "And?"
"When you clean a window," she said, eyes on his, "you have to open it and pull it toward you, and when you do that, the angle of the light that's coming
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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 25 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)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)
  • Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti, #11)

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