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Suffer the Little Children: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery (Commissario Brunetti #16)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,506 ratings  ·  202 reviews
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 quest
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by AudioGO (first published January 1st 2007)
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It's been a very long time since I've read a novel by Donna Leon. For a while there I read every novel in the Brunetti series when it was released. At some stage I missed one, and suddenly Leon had written five more books without me noticing. So it was good to re-acquaint myself with the series and realise that Leon can still give me reading pleasure.

Brunetti is a refreshingly uncomplicated detective. He's not a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, he doesn't suffer from the effects of psycholo
It's always a civilised pleasure to be back in Venice in the humane company of Brunetti. This book is in some ways more about the background and build up to a crime than it is about solving one and the novel almost leaves you with the question of where the greater crime has been committed. It is a sad book in many ways but as Brunetti investigates his life goes on in its usual routine with his wife Paola and their family life of shared meals, wine and books, which add warmth and normality to a d ...more
4.5 stars really. Beautifully plotted, incredibly sad.
There are some slow moments midway but the interweaving of the characters is marvelous.
The opening scene is unforgettable, as is the final scene.
I just love this series. This one is not a whodunit in the classical way. Commisario Brunetti investigates events surrounding the illegal adoption of children by wealthy Venetian couples. Will those unwanted children be better off in an orphanage? This and many other questions are in Brunetti's mind while following up on possible leads to find out what really happened. It's not really his job, he does it for himself. All the rest of the usual characters are here - Brunetti's undercover sojourn w ...more
Babies for sale via illegal adoptions . . . the situation becomes known to Brunetti as the result of a well-respected pediatrician being beaten by the national police during a raid on parents whose children have been adopted> in this manner. There are no murders in this story, just craven behavior--elite couples struggling with infertility who purchase infants from the poor, sometimes exploited. Wealth has its privileges. And it would seem everything is for sale, even new borns. Brunetti expl ...more
Kat Hagedorn

While this book isn't as stunning as her previous one (Through a Glass, Darkly), it is still about a zillion times better than most mystery series, at least most contemporary ones.

Why is it that most mystery authors begin to decline by about their 3rd or 4th book and it becomes unbearable to read anything by them ever again? Not so at all with Leon. It's as if her thoughtful police commissioner, not always the sharpest tack, becomes more interesting from novel to novel.
Jan 06, 2008 Diane rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: Audubon Book Club Selection
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
#16 Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery set in Venice, Italy. Guido is called out in the middle of the night because the Carabinieri have done a raid on a prominent pediatrician's home and busted him for adopting a child illegally. The wife called the police since she had no idea what was happening, so Guido's team showed up only to find the invaders WERE the police...but they had not been pre-informed by the Carabinieri of the impending raid, as is standard procedure.

The doctor was beaten, the
A worth addition to the Brunetti series, with strong characters, moral ambiguity, and a very unusual situation that generates hatred and misunderstanding, but (unusual for a mystery) not murder. Many fans read this series for little more than the enjoyment of spending time with Brunetti and his wife, Paola, and they will not be disappointed in this one. Donna Leon has been trying for years, with varying degrees of success, to avoid the genre requirements of murder, clear guilt, and appropriate p ...more
Bryan Higgs
I saw this book as a special for $1.99 in Kindle format, and decided to give this author's Commissario Brunetti another try. Can't beat the price!

It turns out that reading it in Kindle format has advantages. The book has lots of words in Italian (or perhaps Venetian dialect), and I can select the word and Kindle will give me a meaning and/or translation. I used that a lot. In fact, the book focused a lot on using Italian/Venetian words, especially for food. It seems to me that Brunetti eats well
To begin with, I have to confess that I love Venice. So any story that takes place there is likely to please me. Also, I love a good whodunit. Nothing's better for curling up with and relaxing. Still, Donna Leon's stories have something special. Maybe it's her detective, Commissario Brunetti. He's an extremely wise and cool person. A murder mystery's effectiveness depends on the personality of the detective, and Brunetti is extremely simpatico. Maybe it's the way her ripped-from-the-E.U.-headlin ...more
Judith Pembleton
The corruption of all forms of governance in Venice is described time and again in Donna Leon's books. What saves the books from driving the reader to despair is the loving description of Commissario Guido Brunetti's personal moral compass which allows him to find ways to bring justice within a society that appears to have abandoned this pillar of society, possibly prior to written history. The man and his family - their love of food and one another - are the elements that warm the heart.
Dana Clinton
This is the 16th installment of the Inspector Guido Brunetti series, and another good one. It has layers that are artfully deployed, and an ending which is not what you expect, even though once again we have ugly human behavior which the reader understands (as in you are quite sure you know the guilty parties) and knows that such behavior will go without any official resolution. And as always, it raises interesting ethical questions, too. The main line of the story concerns a pediatrician whose ...more
Welwyn Katz
Leon is a wonderful writer, but I feel she is losing somewhere the ability to make us smile in spite of all the darkness. Brunetti loves Venice, he loves his family, he cares about at least two of his colleagues, but none of that can balance the evil he has begun dwelling on in the human soul. There is no light side. When someone writes as well as Leon, it's hard to read her books when one after another is so full of darkness. four stars
This book deals with the diffcult subject of couples who can't have children, the lengths they go to to have a child and the unforseen aftermath. There is also a second story line involving misuse of medical records.
ugh. was there a crime? wasn't there a crime? do we need to spend 200 pages finding out that no crime was really committed? really? for a murder mystery-type genre book shouldn't there be a crime??
Kate Baxter
I am really enjoying this series. I love the characters and the history of Venice. I frankly had no idea how corrupt the country was until I read these books. During further research it is worse than it appears in the books. It is tragic that people are stuck under such a regime and it doesn't matter what party is in power. Having said that the plots have such wonderful human interest stories behind them. Lastly, the food! OMG sometimes I just drool when the family is eating dinner. Also how won ...more
I've been reading the Brunetti series for almost 16 years now and I am therefore a little bit biased. Each time I start reading a book of the series I am just back in such a familiar setting (in my head the Brunetti's live in the most cozy, beautiful little flat ever imaginable) that I feel right at home. The storyline of this book didn't have a lot of depth and there are some parts of the story that felt a bit naive to me. Maybe I've read to many Andrew Vachss books, but the thought of people b ...more
Het verhaal begint sterk. Je zit er vanaf de eerste regel in. Daarom geef ik dit boek toch drie sterren. Op een gegeven moment de spanning weg en kabbelt het verhaal verder voort. Het verhaal is op zich best interessant, maar echt spannend wil het niet meer worden en ook het plot is een beetje teleurstellend. Het boek leest vlot en heb je dan ook zo uit. Het verhaal speelt zich af in Venetië. Dat is ook wel leuk, omdat daar bijna alles via het water gaat. Wat ik een minpuntje vond is dat er ook ...more
Chris Witkowski
My favorite so far of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti tales, this novel is fully a mystery, rather than her usual social commentary with a mystery mixed in. The story involves the sad fate of a kindly pediatrician who, faced with the fact he was unable to have children, manages to " adopt" a baby through illegal means. His crime is discovered but just how the authorities are tipped off is a big surprise. The book also contains an ingenious plot involving a pharmacist with an overactive sense o ...more
My mother reads many of Donna Leon's books, so I thought I'd give this one a whirl when I found it as an audiobook at my library. Commissario Brunetti is a very different sort of cop than Eve Dallas (Nora Robert's In Death series), but an interesting one nonetheless. As he lets the bad guys talk themselves into a corner, he just listens, more often than not over a coffee, and then hands them over to be dealt with. While Brunetti won't replace Dallas in my book, I will be listening to more of his ...more
Anyone who has ever raised a child can relate to the heartache that Dr. Gustavo Pedrolli experiences when the Carabinieri burst into his home and removed his adopted 18-month-old son from his care, and violently attacked Pedrolli. As it turns out, Pedrolli had gone around the regulations in order to adopt Alfredo. Now the child will be placed into an orphanage and forever removed from the family that loved him.

Commissario Guido Brunetti is summoned to Pedrolli's bedside and wonders at the heavy-
Toni Osborne
A group of Carabinieri (police) burst into a senior paediatrician's house in the middle of the night attacking him and taking away his eighteen-month old baby. Injured he is sent to the hospital where Commissario Guido Brunetti is summoned to his bedside. What motivated such a violent assault by the police? Confronted with more questions than answers, the investigation brings Brunetti and his colleague, Inspector Vianello into a dangerous case involving a ring of baby traffickers and illegal mon ...more
Un auteur qui mêle habilement intrigue policière, charme vénitien et engagement politique.

Un pédiatre et sa femme agressés en pleine nuit, leur bébé de dix-huit mois enlevé sous leurs yeux… Pourquoi diable des carabiniers – les gendarmes italiens – ont-ils fait irruption chez ce couple au milieu de la nuit et se sont-ils emparés de ce petit garçon ? Pour quelle raison le médecin refuse-t-il obstinément de parler à la police ? Et enfin, qui a bien pu ordonner la mise en œuvre d’une opération aus
Deborah Moulton
In the Comisario Guido Brunetti series, the mysteries are always solved, but the delivery of justice is sometimes absent. This frustration can be directly attributed to the city of Venice, a place where intricate relationships, ancient social rites, lies and leverage count far more than a court of justice.

This book is satisfying in that it uses all those relationships and the ancient levers of upper class Venetians to mete out justice when an open legal case could never be made.

Young girls are
A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, #16 in the series.

A less complex and bitter book than some of her previous ones, although, true to form, she does make critical remarks about Americans and tourists.
I did enjoy this "mystery" as she sticks to the story, doesn't try to bring in all of Italy's social problems, just a few. She often contends with social ills in her stories and that makes them interesting to a point; she doesn't overdo it here, although she possibly under-did it and the ending
I am slowly making my way through this series of mysteries. Since my local library has a decidedly scarce supply of books written by Ms. Leon, it means my reading of these is a rare occasion for me. My book rental club does somewhat better in its acquisition of Leon books, hence my taste for these books has been satisfied to some degree.

Commissario Brunetti is summoned from a sound sleep to the hospital bedside of a prominent Venetian pediatrician who has been the victim of an unprovoked attack
Joyce Lagow
# 16 in the Commissario Brunetti series, set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]Brunetti receives a middle-of-the-night phone call that brings him to the hospital bed of a pediatrician, who has been assaulted by--the Carabinieri. Dr. Pedrolli and his wife have illegally adopted a baby, and the 18 month old biy has been taken from them, to be placed in an orphanage.[return][return]In an unrelated event, the establishment of a pharmacist who is under investigation by Vianello for potential fraud is ...more
Jacket notes: “When Commissario Brunetti is summoned to the hospital bedside of a senior paediatrician whose skull has been fractured, he is confronted with more questions than answers. Three men - a Carabinieri captain and two privates from out of town - have burst into the doctor's apartment in the middle of the night, attacked him and taken away his eighteen-month old baby. What can have motivated such a violent assault by the police? But then, Brunetti begins to uncover a story of infertilit ...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 24 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)
Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1) Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2) Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5) Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3) A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti, #7)

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