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Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti, #11)
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Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti #11)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  3,269 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
When Commissario Brunetti receives a visit from one of his wife's students with a strange and vague interest in investigating the possibility of a pardon for a crime committed by her grandfather many years ago, he thinks little of it, despite being intrigued by the girl's intelligence and moral conscience. But when the girl is found stabbed to death, Claudia Leonardo is no ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published March 6th 2003 by Arrow (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Alex is The Romance Fox
Willful Behavior, (Commissario Brunetti Series #11 by Donna Leon) takes us along with Guido Brunetti as he delves into buried secrets dating back to WW2 - Nazi collaboration, Italy's Anti -Semitic past, the exploitation of Italian Jews during that period, something that a lot of people are prepared to kill to keep it buried.

Once again, we watch Brunetti using his connections to help solve the murders of one of his wife Paola's students and the owner of an extraordinary art collection. His abili
Now that I've read 2/3rds of all the Brunetti series published before 2016, I have a good idea of what the pace, style, depth maintains for this bunch. There are times Donna Leon scales the heights in her insight and ability to peel down and more. Especially in those moments when Guido resounds within echoing thoughts his joy and gratitude of what he knows he holds. In this one, I got some of that, but much less than in the more recent volumes in the series. This is more toward "the front" and a ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Nov 08, 2014 Gisela Hafezparast rated it really liked it
One of the better one of the series (although I like them all). As always the crime story is not the most interesting part about this book and like most of them the actual solving of the crime is a bit banal. It's the insight into Italy, it's culture, changing life style, politics and "system" which is fascinating. When I read these books, the paradoxical, frustrating and then again, enchanting, Italian-way-of-life/survival makes me shake my head continuously and go "What, how can you live with ...more
This is my favorite Brunetti book yet! The mystery is actually compelling (for once), and the tangled history of Venice during World War II really worked for me. It added complex layers to many of the characters that have been around for 11 books at this point, especially Count Falier: the conversation between Brunetti and Falier is possibly the most sincerely gut-wrenching scene Donna Leon has ever written. At the same time, this book is full of one-liners that made me laugh out loud. The combi ...more
Apr 23, 2017 Margaret rated it really liked it
Leon Leon writes convincingly with powerful characters and her detective the laid back Commissario Brunetti is intelligent, intuitive and compassionate. The story is wholly engrossing and complex with many twists and turns...... Guido Brunetti is able to negotiate the labyrinth and deal with the villians. I love the Venetian atmosphere invoked in the story.
Toen ik aan dit boek begon, had ik niet verwacht dat het zo interessant zou zijn. Ik heb een keer eerder een boek uit deze serie gelezen en die vond ik niet zo goed als deze. Bij dit boek was mijn nieuwsgierigheid al vanaf het begin gewekt. Het verhaal is niet heel spannend, maar wel boeiend. Daardoor bleef ik lezen. Het was dan ook moeilijk het boek weg te leggen. Daarom heb ik vandaag zelfs overdag een stuk gelezen. Iets wat ik normaal alleen doe bij boeken waar ik echt in het verhaal zit. Dat ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Shane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is less of a detective story than a comment on contemporary Italian society.

Commissario Brunetti is a cop with a difference; he has a normal family life: a professional wife who likes to cook, two gregarious teenage children, and he eats at regular mealtimes, even coming home for lunch. This part is refreshing from the stereotypical coffee-guzzling, sleep deprived, divorced North American (or Swedish) cop who guzzles pizza and burgers whenever hunger calls, but who always gets his mur
Feb 14, 2017 Eugene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: featured, this-year
Yes, it's a mystery novel, but Leon's books are so much more. Reflections on life, man's inhumanity to man, how the past never goes away, fascism, anti-Semitism, and more, swirl around the story in a most thought-engaging way. Another winner from this author.
Commissario Brunetti is introduced to a young student of his wife's, who asks if he can help obtain a pardon for her deceased grandfather. To say that man had a shady reputation is being kind, but suddenly young Claudia is murdered, and it s
Elizabeth Fagin
Feb 20, 2016 Elizabeth Fagin rated it really liked it
I have really been enjoying this series featuring Commisario Guido Brunetti, set in modern day Venice. The characters are great and the sense of place is wonderful. I was disappointed in the last one (#10) because the sub plot threw a monkey wrench into the relationship between Guido and his wife. Which upset me. I do tend to get over-involved wth the characters in books.

However in this one (#11), every thing is back to normal in the Brunetti household and I could go back to enjoying the story.
Aug 05, 2015 Nadeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-read
I am going to do this review in two parts one for the book and one for the audio edition.

The book is another thoughtful addition to the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.There is always a mix of mystery, ethics and politics that are blended together to make it an engaging series with a mix of both thoughtful characters and inept impediments to solutions and progress. I enjoyed the book quite a bit and would recommend it.

This was an audio "read" for me as has been most of the series. They are p
Feb 03, 2010 Spuddie rated it it was amazing
#11 Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery set in Venice, Italy. One of Guido's wife Paola's university students asks her if she can talk to Guido about a person being pardoned for a crime committed years previously, but asks in such vague terms that Guido tells Paola to have the girl speak to him directly. She does, and from what she tells him, gleans some clues to figure out who she's speaking about and starts inquiring among his older friends about the man he believes to be her grandfather, and h ...more
Susan Hirtz
Jul 05, 2016 Susan Hirtz rated it it was amazing
This book was eminently enjoyable, not only in its descriptions of Venice, where Donna Leon excels, but in its plot twists and turns. Her language encapsulates beautifully, leaving the reader within the mind of her main character, Guido Brunetti, Commissario of Police, aware of his personal flaws, yet always forgiving of this humane and sensitive man.

She begins, as she usually does, with an ordinary situation rapidly becoming an unusual one. It leads us through Brunetti's involvement, his motive
Feb 27, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one is masterful. Again, it revolves around art, art collecting and agents, but ranges far beyond to the fate of Venetian-owned masterpieces during the second world war and those who "disposed" of them. Literature plays a large role as well...Paola's teaching and Guido's policing flow in parallel streams of frustration. It's satisfying to learn more about the character of Paola's father and, in Guido's friend Lele's memories, into Guido's father as well. Characters formed in the war, for be ...more
Robert J.
Apr 11, 2014 Robert J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With this book in the Brunetti series, Leon has taken a major step forward as a writer. After the thriller Sea of Troubles, which was beautifully written if a bit difficult to believe, Leon has moved to a much higher level of character development and writing. Her use of point of view alone is worth the price of the book, and reminds me very much of Jane Austen. The plot in this mystery takes second place to the characters, and the Venetian scene nearly disappears aside from the references to ch ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pertencente à série Brunetti (n.º 11) O Estranho Caso Ford foi dos livros que mais gostei de ler de Donna Leon.
Quando uma aluna de Paola (mulher do inspector Brunetti) se acerca dela para lhe fazer uma pergunta que quer que seja confidencial, mal imagina que isto vai desencadear em mais uma investigação para o seu marido. A aluna é Claudia Leonardo e deseja saber, através de Paola, se Guido Brunetti tem conhecimento de haver possibilidade de num processo legal, em que uma pessoa morreu, se mesmo
Lilian O. Classen
This is at least the 2nd time I have read this book. I love the Brunetti series, I have reread a number of them. The ambiance of Venice is wonderful to read about, especially the food. I love detective stories, but Brunetti is such a paragon of intelligence and honor is solving his crimes it is a joy to read.
Feb 15, 2016 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
This one is superb. It plays out via an examination of -- according to the book -- Italy's failure to come to terms with Fascism. Driving that examination are an underlying theme of honor and compelling characters who are insightfully drawn; one of the characters, in particular, is quite Dickensian. The social commentary is razor sharp ... and food is fabulous.
Dec 13, 2016 Camilla rated it really liked it
Great writing, history lessons, literature "classes", intro to Italian Cuisine and exposure to Italians! I just love Guido and his wife Paola!
Aug 08, 2014 Shuriu rated it it was amazing

She had been lecturing, recently, on the theme of honor and honorable behavior and the way it was central to Wharton's three great novels, but she was preoccupied with whether the concept still had the same meaning for her students; indeed, whether it had any meaning for her students…. Though she walked through the city of Venice to reach her classroom, it was New York that was on her mind, the city where the drama of the lives of the women in Wharton's novels had played out a century ago. Atte
Mar 06, 2017 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2016 Celina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mir macht es immer wieder Spaß, Bücher über Commissario Brunetti zu lesen.
Das liegt zum einen daran, dass ich hier das Gefühl bekommen, ein sehr authentisches Buch in den Händen zu halten. Das hängt zum einen mit der oft eintönigen Ermittlungsarbeit von Brunetti zusammen. Man kann sich vorstellen, dass es genau so abläuft: der oft recht gemütliche italienische Polizeiapparat, die nicht immer ganz gesetzestreue aber sehr zuverlässige Sekretärin und der Commissario, der oft ein bisschen idealistis
Aug 29, 2011 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
A solid Brunetti. A student of Paola's (Brunetti's wife) asks how to or if it is possible to get a pardon for a crime committed decades ago. Brunetti doesn't think too much of it until the student, Claudia Leonardo, is found dead. Who was she? How come she has no family connections anywhere? Brunetti ends up asking questions from her Austrian "grandma", who lives in squalor with a huge art collection not far from Claudia. When she too is found dead, the investigations go back to the shadows of W ...more
Feb 27, 2017 Margaret rated it really liked it
What can I say? A session in the company of Donna Leon and Commissario Brunetti is always one of undiluted pleasure for me, as I travel round Venice with them, sharing unbelievably appetising meals and frequent coffee stops. There's usually a pretty good yarn involved, and this is no exception. I read this tale involving a murdered student during a couple of train journeys and it blotted out the hacking cough of the bloke opposite, and the equally annoying sound system belting out from behind (T ...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it
Shelves: brunetti, mystery
11th in the Commissario Brunetti series set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]A young woman, one of Paola s students, approaches Paola after class with an odd question: since Paola s husband is a policeman, the student wants to know if there is any legal process by which a person who has already died can be declared innocent of a crime for which he was convicted and sentenced. Paola dutifully asks Guido; he, of course, can not answer so vague a question. Claudia, the young student, visits Brunett ...more
Toni Osborne
Feb 10, 2011 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book11, in the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Series

This novel was originally published in 2002, I knew I had missed it while I read my way through the series so when it was reprinted in 2010; I seized the opportunity to catch up. Ms. Leon’s earlier novels are thoughtful and satisfying in many ways and this one shines, it is a powerful murder investigation that has Brunetti uncovering dark secrets that date back as far as WW11.

Claudia, a student of Paola, Brunetti’s wife, asks for help in ob
Nicole Mcbride
I have never read a novel by Donna Leon and so was unfamiliar with the length series that this book was a part of. However, I don't think that you would be lost if you were to pick up this book like I did and start reading in the middle of the series about this Detective Brunetti.

For me this was an VERY slow read. I am not certain if it was intentional by Leon because that is what the Italian lifestyle is like or if it was an unfortunate outcome of the plot itself. It was really hard to keep my
WILFUL BEHAVIOUR (Pol. Prod.-Ins. Guido Brunetti-Venice, Italy-Cont) - Ex
Leon, Donna – 11th in series
Arrow Books, 2003, UK Paperback – ISBN: 9780099415183

First Sentence: The explosion came at breakfast.

A student of Insp. Guido Brunetti’s wife, Paola, visits him inquiring whether someone who had been convicted of a crime and is now dead could be officially cleared if shown innocent. Brunetti is not given enough information initially, but the question peaks his interest. When the student, Claudia
May 30, 2008 Dale rated it it was amazing
Willful Behavior gives us a look at how Italy addresses its fascist past. For the most part Italians have not faced up to that past, preferring to pretend that they were all democrats all along, and that Mussolini and his gang were an anomaly, best forgotten. In this story we are shown the legacy of art works stolen by the fascist government and its agents from people who had to flee the country or die. The granddaughter of one of those thieves asks for, first, Paula Brunetti's, then Guido Brune ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Nov 21, 2011 Gerald Sinstadt rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
"At the end of the long calle, he turned right in front of the church, then down into an ever narrower calle until he found himself at the immense portone of Palazzo Falier."

In another author, in another locale, this might be dismissed as show-off padding; why does it not grate in Donna Leon's Venice? I suspect it may be because the author so intimately portrays Venice in all its highways and byways, all its moods, all its beauty, all its venality and corruption. The reader is led to feel that i
Dana Clinton
Jun 13, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it
My immediate goal was to finish the first 12 in the Inspector Brunetti series in order to send them on to another reader in the book ray before I left the country for a month, and with this installment, I have managed to do that. Simply another nice tale, well crafted. It begins this time with one of Paola's university students asking her a hypothetical question and later talking to Guido about the same, along with a discussion on books and reading. Her serious nature and quiet solitary nature a ...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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