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A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti #7)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,422 ratings  ·  226 reviews
Donna Leon has topped European bestseller lists for more than a decade with a series of mysteries featuring clever Commissario Guido Brunetti. Always ready to bend the rules to uncover the threads of a crime, Brunetti manages to maintain his integrity while maneuvering through a city rife with politics, corruption, and intrigue.
In "A Noble Radiance" a new landowner is sum
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ebook, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Grove Press (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gerald Sinstadt
As I close this book I reflect on mixed reviews from other readers. Among the disappointed are those who complain of slow pace and a plot which is often virtually static. True, but they bought the wrong book. Donna Leon doesn't aspire to write another Italian Job; she is interested in moral issues, in personal relationships, in truth and justice and corruption. For example, she can deal perceptively with the fur trade in a couple of paragraphs, leave the reader thoughtful before turning the page ...more
Madeline
Oh Donna Leon, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Seriously guys, I can't fully explain what keeps me coming back to her books. The mysteries are never as good as the synopses make them sound, the stories are full of useless filler scenes to increase the page count, Guido Brunetti's investigative technique is less "actual investigating and action scenes" and more "doing lots of phone interviews", and none of it is terribly riveting.

But then again: Venice. The setting is what makes these books. The
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Monica
This is #7 in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series. For me, they just keep getting better and better all the time. In this book, Brunetti finds resolution to a kidnapping that happened two years previously. He digs into the past and present of a well known Venice family, making his usual intimate disturbances along the way so that he find justice for the long dead Roberto.

Another Goodreads member reviewed this book, saying that many people who read Donna Leon find her books slow paced and th
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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
Emily
Ehhhhh this one was OKAY. The mystery was at least mildly interesting (view spoiler). I was surprised to look down at one point and discover I was 70% of the way through the book, which is never a good sign. I don't even think I can make a long list of great things to happen in this installment, but I'll ...more
Marina Maidou
First of all I must say I like this writer's books for one reason: they take place in Venice. The stories are interesting, unexpectable and logic. But to be honest, I most like when she describes the life of inspector Brunetti and the problems he has with his family, as the comic times he has with ridiculous Patta or with the fantastic secretary Miss Elettra Zorzi, than the crime itself. That stays in my mind after I read her novels, not who was the murderer and why he/she did it. In fact I find ...more
Sandra
This mystery from author Donna Leon offers yet another challenging murder for Commissario Brunetti to solve. Very interesting twists and turns in this one as he pulls together bits of information that look as if they're leading nowhere.
Karen Brooks
This is a beautifully measured, wonderfully nuanced story that once again takes readers into not only Venetian society and the darker aspects that loiter there, but into the heart of a man and his family. Commissario Guido Brunetti is educated, empathetic and committed to his job and his life. Like all the Brunetti books, this one reveals another layer in his loving relationship with his aristocratic wife and their two children, this time through a case Brunetti is obsessed with involving the ap ...more
Shari
Leon is always revealing Venice and its people in ways that also present its history and the world around it. In this story she visits the old nobility and how they have morphed in the modern world. Still pretty much untouchable because of their own histories, some not nearly as stellar as they used to be, many of them have become wheeler-dealers in financial opportunities opened up by the coming down of the wall and the breaking up of the old Soviet Union into its separate states. A frenzy of h ...more
Jonathan Stephenson
I enjoyed this, as I always do with the Donna Leon Brunetti series, because of the Venice setting and wonderfully conjured environment of the city and its surroundings, which is reason enough to read these books. The detective hero and his family are plausible and likeable too.

However, the 'who done it' mystery element after reading a few of these novels, overplays the interest in the 'what the person was like' approach to the investigation, which is the characteristic style of Brunetti, which m
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Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lois
Once more Donna Leon tackles the social problems of Venice and the foibles of the police department. In this book, the body of a young man who had been kidnapped two years previously is discovered in a field outside of Venice. Brunetti becomes involved since the young man's family is Venetian and the kidnapping occurred in Venice. As usual, all is not what it seems and the case becomes much more involved ultimately involving foreign trade in illegal, really illegal substances. There is no neat c ...more
Library-KAT
1/2

I'm not really sure how to describe this book; 1st it is a series and a popular one at that 2nd I see some similarities to the Marshal Guarnaccia Florentine mysteries by Magdalen Nabb.

Commissionario Brunetti is a family man working with the Police force of Venice. The stories are set in current time and have a tendency towards graphic description. Brunetti is as much as a thinker as the Marshal, but unlike the Marshal he is able to formulate his thoughts in a quicker & more succinct ma
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Andrew
The first few pages (or, in the case of my audio edition, tracks) of Donna Leon’s A Noble Radiance did not exactly catch my interest. I often have that problem when beginning a new book, and have to wonder how much of the problem is the author’s and how much is mine. In this case, I think “problem” is the wrong word – rather, Ms. Leon is using some expert fishing techniques on the unsuspecting reader – in this case, me.

Ms. Leon starts off by setting her scenario – the equivalent of picking her
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Jo Ellen
This was my first book to read by Donna Leon but I am delighted to know that it is the 14th in a series of detective stories starring Commissario Guido Brunetti. Set in Italy, there are many references to the Venetian setting and a few Italian phrases thrown in which adds to the bella flavor of the book. This mystery reads like a good old fashioned "whodunnit" set in modern times as evidenced by the use of computer data to help solve the mystery. Commissario Brunetti is methodical in his detecti ...more
Kathleen
I see now that there is a pattern to Donna Leon’s series of mysteries set in Venice. Each one centers on a particular problem confronting Italy today; sometimes social, sometimes political, sometimes environmental. In the case of A Noble Radiance it is the all-too-common kidnapping of the wealthy and/or their children for exorbitant ransoms. So common is this practice that the Italian government routinely freezes the assets of the victim’s family as soon as a kidnapping is reported to prevent co ...more
Michele
It's interesting to read earlier Guido Brunetti mysteries, having read most of the more recent ones. This was a good solid one. This series is fine to read out of order, unlike other mystery series.
Stven
I continue scattering my way through this excellent series. It's a comfort to think that there are policemen who care about justice.

"He pulled down his copy of Cicero's On the Good Life and turned to the section on duties, where Cicero writes of the divisions of moral goodness. 'The first is the ability to distinguish truth from falsity, and to understand the relationship between one phenomenon and another and the causes and consequences of each one. The second category is the ability to restrai
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Isabelle
I read the novel in a couple of days easily enough but without great pleasure. It is neither good nor bad, neither captivating nor boring... what else could I possibly say?
Kathryn
I like all Donna Leon's novels, and this is no exception.

A minor irritation:

When you have lived in a place for 25 years, I guess it's understandable that you would tend to think somewhat provincially; she throws in terms, especially Italian or Venetian, that are probably commonplace in Venice. But as a writer, she should be more aware of her audience. Unless she really is writing for a small section of the world's populace that is just as familiar with Venice as she is. Most of us aren't going
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Gisela Hafezparast
This is now my fourth Donna Leon book and I would give it a 3.5 as the plots are very similar and very predictable. However what I love about them is the description of Venice and life therein, views on Italian politics, (dis)organisation, and the tight rope people seem to walk between legality and the Mafia or other organised crime, even in the police. Moreover, Brunetti is fast becoming one of my favourite detectives, he is just charming, but then he is Italian. If you want a relaxing read wit ...more
Elizabeth
I really enjoyed this, my third Guido Brunetti mystery,which I listened to in my car. I didn't much care for the narrator, Donna somebody, though. The theme of this novel seemed to be marriage--what made a good one, what lies were admissible to preserve one, how far one would go to protect one. I really like Leon's insights into the Italian criminal justice system. With the new Amanda Knox verdict quite fresh, the outcome of this book might be a little more predictable. I find it amazing that Br ...more
Anna
Dec 24, 2012 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Henning Mankell's Wallander series (and vice versa!)
Shelves: 2012, bookcrossing
Leon's Brunetti series is brilliant in the sense I imagine it goes well for both the cozy lovers (the pace often seems slow, things take their time) but they also work with the fans of more hardcore detective fans. As in something to read between the Harry Hole and Harry Bosch series.
In this one, commissario Brunetti ends up investigating the murder of a noble young man, whose badly decomposed remains are found somewhere deep in the countryside, far from Venice, and his body with his family crus
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Joyce Lagow
A Noble RAdiance[return]Donna Leon[return][return]7th in the Commisario Brunetti series, set in Venice, Italy.[return][return]In a small village out in the countryside of the Veneto, a farmer ploughing a filed opens a shallow grave that contains the decomposed body of a young man, kidnapped two years before. Scion to one of the oldest noble families of Venice, the recovery of his body--and evidence of murder--reopens the case, with Brunetti at the head of the investigation. There are too many qu ...more
Kim Kimselius
En ädel död av Donna Leon

Ända sedan jag hittade första boken av Donna Leon har jag fängslats av kommissarie Brunetti i Venedig. Den här gången har jag läst En ädel död av Donna Leon. Inte heller denna gång blev jag besviken.

Härliga miljöskildringar och ett lagom tempo, utan alltför mycket blodiga beskrivningar, gör att Donna Leon har blivit en av mina favoritdeckarförfattare. En bok jag varmt rekommenderar!

Beskrivning av boken:
Det gamla huset vid foten av Dolomiterna, tio mil norr om Venedig, ha
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LJ
First Sentence: There was nothing much to notice about the field, a hundred-metre square of dry grass below a small village in the foothills of the Dolomites.

On the recently purchased property of a doctor near the Italian Dolomites is found the much decomposed body of a young man. Near it is a ring bearing the crest of the Lorenzonis, one of Italy’s most aristocratic families, whose son had been abducted two years ago. Comm. Guido Brunetti reviews the file and decides to unofficially re-investig
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Carol
I would love to visit Italy one day, and especially Venice. Leon’s books, along with others, have made me fall in love with the city.

Setting and character are Leon’s strong points for me. Brunetti keeps me coming back to this series. He’s intelligent, determined, and has a wonderful, strong, loving relationship with his wife and children, who are actually in the books, not just shadows rarely mentioned. And Signorina Elettra, the secretary of the Vice-Questore, is a treat, a woman I would love t
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Spuddie
#7 Commissario Guido Brunetti Italian police mystery set in Venice. Another cold case mystery where an old unsolved case is brought to the forefront when skeletal remains are found in a shallow grave in a village north of Venice when the new owner of an estate begins renovating. A valuable gold ring with a family crest with the body leads authorities to believe that the body is that of twenty-one-year-old Roberto Ludovicio, wealthy heir who was kidnapped two years ago and never found. Dental rec ...more
Shirley
Yet another enjoyable Venice police mystery solved by Commissario Guido Brunetti, the 7th in the series. I was rather disappointed with the first book, 'Death at La Fenice', which seemed rather two dimensional. However, as they were recommended by a friend and as I love the Venetian setting with its crumbling palazzos and can almost hear the lapping waters of the lagoon and the canals, I persevered and I am glad I did.

This story has the puzzle of a body found in a field on the mainland which ap
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Victoria
This book is one of Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries, which are set in Venice. While ethical erosion in the Italian judicial system (for anyone needing to be reminded) and sensationalism in the news media, against both of which which Brunetti strives for truth, make an amusing background to her books, the foreground in this book was not all that interesting. Brunetti deserves wilier adversaries of more inherent interest and psychological complexity. A beach read.
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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
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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)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)
  • Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti, #11)
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) Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)

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