Through a Glass, Darkly
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Through a Glass, Darkly (Commissario Brunetti #15)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,657 ratings  ·  214 reviews
The latest case in Donna Leon’s bestselling Brunetti mystery series—“one of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever” (The Washington Post) The Philadelphia Inquirer called Leon’s incomparable creation Commissario Guido Brunetti “the most humane sleuth since Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret.” It’s no wonder then that Leon’s legion of fans continues to grow wi...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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Madeline
It's been a while since I've read something that gave me the opportunity to write a truly scathing review here. So if nothing else, I guess I should thank Donna Leon for writing this horribly ill-conceived addition to the Guido Brunetti series, and thereby giving me ample material to rake this book over the coals.

This is my third Leon mystery, which I guess is a good thing: if this were the first Brunetti story I'd read, it would be enough to convince me that I should never pick up anything Don...more
Maria João Fernandes
"Tal como Brunetti, ela achava que os livros funcionavam como um espelho da pessoa que os acumulava."

Donna Leon tem uma característica que me agrada imenso: em cada livro do Comissário Guido Brunetti explora uma parte diferente de Veneza, através de um crime sem igual e apresentando uma investigação única. A diversidade dos seus crimes podem não agradar de igual forma a uma mesma pessoa, porque são de facto muito diferentes, mas a verdade é que aprendemos muito sobre a forma de viver dos venezia...more
Kristel
Donna Leon writes lushly about a Venice in regal decay, with the urbane and likable Commissario Guido Brunetti as her main character, yet it was not until 158 pages in (halfway through the novel) that the crime the good detective was supposed to investigate even occurred. This, I think, encapsulates everything I found frustrating about Through a Glass, Darkly.

I waffled between giving this book 3 or 2 stars on Goodreads because it really wasn’t an awful book. But as a mystery, it completely reneg...more
Jane
One of the things, of many things, I like about Donna Leon's series with Commissario Brunetti is the wonderful family parts of the stories. Brunetti's wife is intelligent and passionate about her beliefs which are sometimes at odds with her husband's. The children are smart and articulate. And the food is mouth watering. Another thing is the stories are always thought provoking. The main theme of Through a Glass Darkly is pollution and the environment. There is a murder that needs to be solved a...more
Nancy
As I gambol through Donna Leon's series I realize what an admirable friend the would make. After every disappointing novel, I seem to seek out one of her books because I enjoy spending time with them, so I realized how much I would like her at my dinner table.

She clearly enjoys a few drinks and a good meal;

She has an appreciation for subtle moral dilemmas and seems willing to ponder them;

She clearly has a sense of humor (witness Signorina Elettra); and

She has an interesting smattering of knowled...more
Jeanne
Hard to believe this is the 15th book that Donna Leon has written about Commissario Brunetti; Guido and the rest of the cast of characters remain as fresh and interesting as ever.

One of the things I love about Leon's mysteries (besides the fact that they are set in Venice, and she describes the "calles" and the food and the Laguna so that you both feel as though you are there and wish you were there at the same time) is that they are so complex. There is a mystery to be solved at the heart of th...more
Kat Hagedorn
http://tinyurl.com/53pqot

The title is from the Bible and implies that humans have a less that perfect perception of reality.

I can't think of a better title for this Guido Brunetti novel, which grapples with unambiguously moral and ethical issues mostly having to do with the environment of Venice. Leon's mysteries have always been set in Venice, and often touch on the sticky problems surrounding the polluting of the lagoon, the crumbling of the edifices and the navigation of Italian bureaucracy....more
Catherine Woodman
This novel is set during Spring in Venice; and much of the mystery (and of course in every mystery there is a dead body) occurs on the island of Murano which is known for its glassmaking. Leon combines detailed research on Venetian glass making with a social discourse on the effects of pollution on the Venice lagoon by the industries that border it including Marghera.



Brunetti's boss is still as insipid as he always has been (Vice Questore Patta) and is continually looking for other positions wh...more
Carol Crawford
Aug 22, 2007 Carol Crawford rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Venice & "subtle mysteries"
Shelves: mystery
I am hooked on Leon's series. Why? Her characters, and the powerfully visual way she evokes her environment. Commissario Brunetti , like all central detective characters, sets the tone of her works. He is human, humane, leads a normal home life, hates guns and violence, loves where he lives and deplores, like New Yorkers, the negative changes in his world and the onslaught of tourists. But most of all, he has an Italian "che sera, sera"...many of these mysteries are not resolved in favor of just...more
Monica
The 15th book in the Commissario Brunetti series continues the trend of the previous 14...well written and engaging. Leon is a master at writing about subtle murders that take place among practical events in an unjust world. Her narrative is always bang on and the characters are always brought to life. By now Brunetti is like a friend to me...and Venice a city that I feel I could navigate without ever having been there. Reading a Donna Leon book is always like reading a special treat among the o...more
Cherie
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
Cathy
I guess I've gotten hooked on Comissario Guido Brunetti mysteries, after all they're set in Venice and as this one opens Brunetti is standing at his window "flirt(ing) with springtime." Having had snow for for the last three months the descriptions of flowers just starting to bud, a kind of ironic beginning to a book filled with issues of pollution.

Here a night watchman in a glass factory dies and issues of dumping, pollution, political corruption take center stage. The pace is slow, and there...more
Jan C
Jan 11, 2009 Jan C rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Donna Leon
Shelves: italy, mystery
I love the corruption of Venice. Or, at least Donna Leon's description of it. I have read a number of the Commissario Guido Brunetti stories and I keep coming back for more.

But what is really interesting in this one is a fairly thorough explanation of the art of blowing glass, Venetian-style. Brunetti is watching the maestri and serventi and his mind casts back to when his father was a serventi and had no hope of ever becoming a maestri.

Pat Hansbury
Since I returned from Venice, I have three of the Guido Brunetti books. They are not great. Very light. But, Venice is the real star of the books. It is so much fun reading how Guido hops on and off the same boats I just took in Venice. In this book, he talks about eating at the same restaurant by the Grand Canal near Rialto Bridge where we ate our last night in Venice. So, they are light and fun.
Julie Whelan
This Brunetti mystery focuses on the Murano glass industry the culture of the workers and artisans involved. There is also a strong environmental subplot and illegal dumping of toxic byproducts into the lagoon is a major factor in the plot. The Brunetti family are at their most human and appealing and the commisario teams with Paola in solving the case and both struggle with raising adolescent children.
Katy
I have now read six of these mysteries. They are among the finest mystery novels I have ever read, sparkling with intelligence as well as a sensitive understanding of human nature and a thoroughly dark view of politics and government. Commissario Brunetti stands out as a sterling example of one man retaining his humanity amidst the chaos.
Ed Mestre
Picked this book up at a library sale a few years ago, but despite looking like a quick read I just couldn't get into this detective story in Venice, Italy. Well, since I went to Italy last April & fell in love with Venice I decided to pick up again. Suddenly it was captivating as i recognized places & terms & even the number of the water bus I would catch near my hotel. I'm not saying you have to have been to Venice to enjoy this nifty little murder mystery with its well drawn chara...more
papalbina
Thanks to the people from the University of Cambrigde who planned the CAE readings I will stay away from Donna Leon's books and her Commissario Brunetti forever and ever.
Shae
I don't often wander into the mystery genre, but we read this as a book club and I have to admit I would recommend it to others. Mystery books, this one included, are not very good for book clubs because the discussion is more about plot than topic, but I would recommend this Commissario Guido Brunetti series as a great beach read. It was clean, smart, and real. The crime didn't happen until half way through the book, but the characters were delightful and the Venice, Italy setting interesting.
David
This book is an optional reading text for students taking Cambridge ESOL's Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) test in 2011. I am teaching it in my class. It's the first one I've read in the series – I may have liked it better if I had read previous books. The characters seemed kind of colorless, like the author expected you to know and love them already.

I think there is a graduate thesis in a study of what qualities women mystery writers have given their men detective heroes. Here, as in man...more
Anna
I still can't decide if I like the Brunetti series, after reading about half of them.
They are pretty constant in style and quality, and all of them have the same good points (interesting location, interesting and usually not pleasant characters) and less than good points (the intense hatred of everyone Sicilian or Sardinian, in every single book, every single time Brunetti talks to his rather racistically, by a northern Italian's eyes, boss, Patta, and every time there is ever anyone from Sicil...more
D.L. Kung
Well, no points for an original title—Goodreads has at least twenty other books with this name, but between these covers this Venetian tale bears Leon's usual signature. This is a tired detective series overall, but one that always casts a 'comfort glow' if you know what you're going to find, e.g. the chic Signorina Elettra with her wizard computer skills, the phlegmatic inspector Brunetti who is spoiled by his wife, for reasons that I can't fathom and said wife Paola who can cook fabulous lunch...more
Joyce Lagow
Through A Glass, Darkly[return]Donna Leon[return][return]#15 in the Commissario Brunetti series, set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]As any serious reader of Leon� s knows, she is a great fan of opera; there� s always an appropriate quote from one of Mozart� s opera� s at the beginning of every book. And an operatic soprano has figured in two of her books.[return][return]But she may have let her love of opera interfere with this particular book, which is a disaster.[return][return]She dedicates...more
Maria
Os problemas ambientais são a causa principal do assassinato de Giorgio Tassini, uma espécie de vigia nocturno das fábricas de vidro existentes na ilha de Murano.
Mais uma vez o protagonista da história é o Commissario Brunetti que numa investigação completamente à revelia do seu chefe, que por questões políticas não quer ver a esquadra envolvida na investigação, decide encetar uma procura de de várias razões para o facto, primeiramente, de Giorgio Tassini, se queixar de que a doença genética da...more
Laraemilie
Through a glass, darkly, is not a religious book, despite the obvious reference to the biblical quotation. It can probably be understood as in Shakespeare’s Tempest, where it is used to explain that we do not necessarily understand something at once, but that we will in the end. Or as a simple allusion to the island of Murano and its famous glass industry. This play upon words demonstrates once more Donna Leon’s talent for telling stories.
On a lovely day of early spring, Commissario Brunetti hel...more
LJ
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (Police Procedural-Venice, Italy-Cont) – G+
Leon, Donna – 15th in series
William Heinemann, 2006- UK Hardcover
Commissario Guido Brunetti helps Inspectore Vianello’s friend, Marco, who has been arrested for protesting against chemical pollution of the Venetian lagoon. Marco is released for lack of evidence, much to the rage of his father-in-law, the owner of a glass factory on Murano. Marco’s wife tells Brunetti she is concerned her father may harm her husband. Whie Brunetti...more
Spuddie
#15 in the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series set in Venice. Brunetti is asked by Vianello, recently promoted to Inspector, to see what can be done about a friend of his family who was arrested in an environmental protest. While this doesn't have much to do with the eventual mystery, it does lead to another personal entreaty by the environmentalist's wife to determine whether her father, the owner of a glass factory on the island of Murano, is serious when he makes crazy threats against h...more
Whitelady3
I didn't knew this author and was a surprise to notice she had several books published in Portugal of the series Commissario Brunetti in which this books corresponds to the 15th volume. All I can say is that I expected more of someone who is compared to Agatha Christie.

We follow the commissario and his assistant while trying to confirm whether there's any intention behind Giovanni de Cal's threats, who owns a glass factory in Venice, against his son-in-law Marco Ribetti, friend of Brunetti's ass...more
Susan
I am not sure that I will read any more in this series, but there were some interesting aspects to reading this novel. The setting, in Venice, was intriguing. The food sounded great.

Interestingly, wherever I went, people noticed that I was reading the book and told me how much they enjoy the series. One person, however, said that it is importatnt to start with the first one in the series and then to read the books in order. This book was a reading group choice, so this particular title was pre-...more
Trudy
I want more Paola, Chiara, Raffi, and Signorina Elletra. This is book 15, and Brunetti still doesn't know much about the enigmatic Signorina. This book alludes to the very real pollution of the Laguna at Marghera, by chemical companies. Dioxins in the water allegedly caused the deaths of at least 140 people. Brunetti's lack of concern for the environmental issues facing Venice continues to puzzle me. Could it be that his understanding of Italy's bureaucratic corruption has plunged him into apath...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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