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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,068 ratings  ·  184 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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Gisela Hafezparast
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
Spuddie
#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
Sara
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.
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
Maria
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
...more
Deborah
The fourth book ticked off my TBR challenge. It was an enjoyable read - I love Venice and the art-related crime was a bonus. Quite weirdly this is the week that the digital version of Entarte Kunst was placed online by the V&A and a copy of the New York Times had a front page article about tracing the owners of looted art in France (perhaps because of the Monument Men movie? or just serendipity?) The solution was satisfyingly unexpected; the victims were not just ciphers but people one cared ...more
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
...more
R.J. Lynch
I liked it. That's what three stars means and I think that needs to be remembered because there's a certain amount of rating inflation going on and three stars doesn't mean it's no good--it means, "I liked it". Four stars would mean "I really liked it" and I'm not willing to go that far. It's entertaining but so much of this has been done before, most notably by Michael Dibdin, one of my all-time favourites. Yes, Italy is a place of dreadful corruption; yes, it pays Italian policemen not to expe ...more
Toni Osborne
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
...more
Shane
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
...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
I read Fatal Remedies in 2000, decided I liked it enough to go back and start at the beginning of the series with Death at La Fenice, didn't enjoy that one as much, and then forgot about the series for twelve years.

So, it's 2012 and we went on a trip to Venice and I came back with a desire to visit this series again. I picked this one as it was the earliest of the three volumes available in my local library. And I enjoyed it very much! It has a lovely plot that worked very nicely. But mainly I
...more
Anna
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
Lianne
Jun 27, 2012 Lianne added it
In this 11th in the Brunetti series, Donna Leon explores the concept of honor. Paola, the Commissario's wife, shares in the involvement with this mystery. One of her students, Claudia approaches her after class to ask whether the Professor's husband can help her clarify a legal question. Can a pardon be obtained for someone who has been convicted of a crime? She comes to visit Brunetti in his office. Brunetti claims he cannot answer this question until he knows more about the nature of the crime ...more
Binx Gray
Well, I hate to be nit-pickey, never having read Donna Leon before, but frankly I had issues. First of all, I know this is part of a lengthy series, but I found it odd the way the protagonist Brunetti talks with his wife; they seem to be quite ignorant about certain things (about each other that is) and as they've
supposedly been married for a while I find that strange. Then another thing that bothers me is Leon's usage of Italian phrases, italicized, it seems a bit precious. I know some Italian
...more
Karen Brooks
I am very fond of Leon's Brunetti series and so enjoy the slow, tempered pace of the books and the atmosphere - of Venice, of Italy generally and it's complex people - that it evokes. This book, however, that's set around the death of one of Brunetti's wife's students, a clever young girl who was seeking the pardon of a war criminal and the strange connections investigating her death uncovers, just didn't work as well for me. Sure, it still had all the ingredients (including marvellous descripti ...more
Joyce Lagow
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 Brune ...more
Blair McDowell
I consider Donna Leon to be one of the most literate writers of the past twenty years. During that time she has put out twenty books, all of which feature Comissario, Guido Brunetti, of the Venice police, and his family, wife, Paula, and children, Chiara and Raffi. The characters in these books become well-known and loved to Leon’s legion followers in the many languages into which her books have been translated. Her writing style is highly literate, her stories engaging and current. She appears ...more
Dale
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
Ed
One of the best entries in the Commissario Guido Brunetti (and family) saga as our hero confronts what most of official and unofficial Italy has tried to either forget or ignore--their Fascist past. A seeming impossible task comes through his wife--one of her students in a university literature class wants her to ask Brunetti if it is possible to have a decades old case overturned. She is asking on behalf of her an old woman who had been the girl's grandfather's lover. He turns out to be a scoun ...more
Jessica Howard
I sat and read this book all in one sitting this morning, which was fantastic, it's been a while since I've been able to do that. The book is classic Donna Leon: an intriguing crime, a frustrating bureaucracy, and the intellectual banter between Commisario Guido Brunetti and his passionate wife Paola. The crime made me a little sad, again a Donna Leon trademark, but I laughed out loud at Brunetti's description of American tourists and their "lumpishness". Also, since I just finished City of Fall ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
"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
...more
Linda
One of the things that make the Brunetti series so appealing is Guido's relationship with his family. After 20 years of marriage, he and Paola are still in love. As Willful Behavior opens, Paolo, a college lecturer, is approached by one of her students, Claudia Leonardo, for some advice about acquiring an exoneration for her grandfather, an art dealer during WWII. Paola arranges for Claudia to talk to Guido, who believes nothing can be done, but whose curiosity is aroused by the story related by ...more
Monica
“Willful Behavior” is the 11th Commissario Brunetti book in Donna Leon’s series of books that take place in Venice. This series continues to keep me interested and looking forward to the next book.

Jacket cover: In Donna Leon's most powerful novel yet, the murder of a young woman draws Commissario Brunetti into buried secrets daring hack to WWII. When one of his wife Paola's students comes to visit him, with a strange and vague interest in investigating the possibility of a pardon for a crime com
...more
Peter
Sep 27, 2008 Peter added it
I read this in one insomniac night, while staying with friends in London. The rain and precious, upper-crusty atmosphere of the setting were contributory factors to my enjoyment! This one's about high art scammed from Jews and others trying to flee fascist Italy in the early 1940s. The heirs of the 'legal' buyers are post-war pariahs whose legacy and honor is at stake. The plot is good, and unfolds in intriguing ways, with some nicely eccentric characters. Once again, the Italian complicity/resi ...more
LJ
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
...more
Kelly
This was an ok installment in an otherwise awesome series. I liked the story and the backstory, just felt it didn't quite come together in a true climax of great storytelling. Guido proves strong and diligent and brings his traditional Venetian views to the scenario. I thought this story could have benefited from a little more exploration of the underlying issues, more description and detail. It was still a good read, quick and enjoyable.
June Ahern
I am a fan of Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti's police history series of books having read the majority of them thus far. I like the subplots of the life of his familyshe took me around the streets of Venice again and with family and going around the streets of Venice Italy. Willful behavior is a good story. The focus is on Claudia Leonardo and her questionable grandfather’s past. I like the way Ms. Leon brings Brunetti’s wife Paoloa into the murder mystery. When Paola’s young student C ...more
Katie Rekowski
Commisario Guido Brunetti Mystery #11. Claudia Leonardo, his wife's (Paola} student, is murdered. But, why? Her not really grandmother has quite the art collection; none knows of it. Eventually, also murdered. The clues lead to Nazi collaboration during the war of the Jewish artifacts that went missing during the war. The story is revealed as one reads. 2002. Read by Steven Crossely.
Marilyn
I don't like to give the mysteries I read five stars unless I rate them against each other. For instance, I don't put them in the same category of excellent literature that I read. However, continuing on my obsessive journey to read all of Donna Leon, I must say this was her best yet. Number eleven in the Brunetti series, she deals with art and antique dealers taking advantage of the Jews by buying up their valuable art at a pittance when they fled to safety. As usual, there is a personal story, ...more
Michael
I have probably read five of these Donna Leon mysteries now. It doesn't seem to matter that I don't read them in order. Like the Martin Beck Swedish detective novels of the 60s, these combine continuing characters who you get to know and enjoy as you read more of the series along with a fair amount of social commentary that flows from the circumstances of the particular murder being investigated. The "social commentary" doesn't get too heavy and since it seems to ring true, you feel like you get ...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
More about Donna Leon...
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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