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A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti #7)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  4,660 Ratings  ·  290 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
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Grove Press (first published 1998)
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Alex is The Romance Fox
A Noble Radiance, the 7th novel and an interesting addition to Donna Leon’s amazing and thought provoking Guido Brunetti Series.

Guido Brunetti, the intelligent and intellectual Venetian Commissario is called in to investigate the findings of a decomposed male body found in a shallow grave by workmen in a home just outside Venice. The body is identified as Roberto Lorenzoni, the son of Count Lorenzoni, a member of the Venetian aristocratic society, who had been abducted two years earlier and had
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 Gerald Sinstadt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 30, 2016 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no mention of any Brunetti or associate until page 18. And it was superb. 4.5 star in every category, not just the beginning. Plot (yes, there is real heinous crime), voice, continuity, conversational flow, characters melding within connection- all of it. Formerly I noted in my successive Brunetti reviews that I was reading them out of order (completely hodgepodge)and that the very best were all within the last 10. Most are, but this Noble Radiance is certainly the one exception to that ...more
Sep 03, 2010 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2016 Sharyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I have come so late to Brunetti. I am going to Venice in Sept. and decided to read and listen to them. I also found a TV show (German with English subtitles, filmed mostly in Venice) so I am not reading in order but as I can get them. (Tomorrow I will watch this show) I love the philosophical discussions, the home life, the meetings with his boss, the humor and most of all Venice!! The mysteries are secondary, but learning how Italians look upon different parts of the country is ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 27, 2017 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A NOBLE RADIANCE. (1998). D0nna Leon. ****.
This is another episode from the career of Commissario Guido Brunetti based in Venice. As we enter the plot, we learn of the discovery of a man’s body that had been buried in farm land in an area about 100 miles north of the city. The body had essentially decomposed, but a ring was found in the same shallow grave. The ring bore the crest of the wealthy Lorenzoni family. Their son had been kidnapped a little over two years earlier, but had never been ret
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
Oct 26, 2012 Isabelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?
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
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
Karen Brooks
Jan 20, 2011 Karen Brooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2014 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2016 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another intelligent entry in the Commissario Brunetti series. Most of the mystery revolves around a kidnapping of two years before. A body is discovered some distance from Venice, but there are strong indications that the remains are the unfortunate young man, only son of a very old Venetian family. Brunetti eventually solves the mystery, but discovers that it is mixed up with industrial corruption that has been going on for some time and which has serious health and military implications. Altho ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Lesley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was ok. Some awkward phrasing that would be forgiven if the book was translated from Italian but as it was written in English it is not forgiven. Very little action very pedestrian plodding through a case where the outcome was obvious from the beginning. I definitely won't be trying any more from this author.
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.
Mar 24, 2016 Trine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-swedish
Zarah Jones
Enjoyable read. I did enjoy her descriptions and the atmosphere of Venice though. Main character interesting. Read a few others in series and found them formulaic.
Michael Johnston
Mar 24, 2017 Michael Johnston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Noble Radiance" is a dark and tragic mystery filled with flawed characters, shocking deaths and one man's pursuit of justice. The Commissario Brunetti mysteries are always entertaining glimpses into the life and culture of Venice, but this one in particular was a dark and tragic tale. A social commentary that pits Brunetti's simple beliefs about society's need to pursue true justice against the deeply flawed nature of the wealthy Italian nobility for whom the rules of regular civilized societ ...more
Jan 21, 2017 Gay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book, as usual. Donna Leon follows Commissario Guido Brunetti through the streets of Venice on a search for the killer of kidnapping victim (Roberto) that occurred two years before. Roberto is a member of a wealthy and influential family with a past history of family being in bed with the Nazis. After two years, the body is discovered in a shallow grave and the family is told the bad news. But all is not as it seems.

With the disappearance of the son Roberto, the nephew Maurizio became
Jan 14, 2017 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good. But left me feeling sad.
Aug 08, 2014 Shuriu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brunetti was satisfied to see that he had been right about the coda. It was decorated with sprigs of rosemary, and a radish.
"Why do they do that to food?" he asked, pointing with his chin at the Count's plate.
"Is that a real question or a criticism of the service?" the Count asked.
"Just a question," Brunetti answered.
The Count picked up knife and fork and separated the fish to see if it was cooked all through. Seeing that it was, he said, "I remember when, for a few thousand lire, you could
Mar 14, 2017 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong, intelligent writing in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti 7th book in the series made it, once again, an enjoyable read.
Lise Dufour
Mar 08, 2017 Lise Dufour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite author : Donna Leon Policier
Dec 24, 2012 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Henning Mankell's Wallander series (and vice versa!)
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
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
Apr 22, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)
  • Wilful Behaviour

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“Brunetti asked, surprised how painful he still found the thought of his mother. He had tried for the last year, with singular lack of success, to tell himself that his mother, that bright-spirited woman who had raised them and loved them with unqualified devotion, had moved off to some other place, where she waited, still quickwitted and eager to smile, for that befuddled shell that was her body to come and join her so that they could drift off together to a final peace. ‘I” 0 likes
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