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Blood from a Stone: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
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Blood from a Stone: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery (Commissario Brunetti #14)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,841 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Blood from a Stone brings Donna Leon's celebrated character Commissario Guido Brunetti back on the scene: On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death-fake handbags of every designer label. The dead ma ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eric_W
(Audiobook)
Donna Leon's books are more than just police procedurals books that take place in Venice. They always, in my experience, deal with an issue confronting Italy and there's always a sub-current of corruption. In this book, she tackles the difficult subject of street peddlers, quasi-immigrants from Africa who buy knock-off bags cheap and then resell them to tourists.

Two American tourists, both physicians, see an immigrant, ostensibly from Sierra Leone, assassinated in the square. The ca
...more
Madeline
The last Brunetti mystery I read (Doctored Evidence) left me feeling mostly cold - by then, I had read several of Leon's mysteries in rapid succession and was tired of her formula. But when I was in the library last week, browsing through the mystery section, I decided to revisit the Brunetti series. Even when the mysteries themselves aren't thrilling, I always enjoy reading about Leon's non-tourist view of Venice.

Another factor that made me choose this particular book (which, apparently, comes
...more
Karen
Love the Guido Brunetti series and Donna Leon. Very interesting crime (having been/seen this in Italy). As always, I love, love the characters and feel like I'm 'walking' the streets in Venice.
Linda
Blood from a Stone is #14 in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, but it's the first one for me. The novel was a great introduction to an interesting character and stood entirely on its own even though the surrounding cast (family and colleagues) has probably been in place for the twenty-two years of the series. In Blood from a Stone author Donna Leon gives the reader a good glimpse of Venice as well as the lives of the vu cumprà, the venditore ambulante whose blanket of wares can be whisked a ...more
Nancy
This is only my second mystery by Donna Leon, but I'll definitely continue reading the series. I consider this book a novel in which a murder occurs rather than just calling it a mystery. The mystery is certainly central but it is not a puzzle to be solved. It is a source of conflict which makes this more interesting to me than a run-of-the-mill commercial mystery.

Leon seems to have a gift for making a book more than just the sum of its parts. I love the slow pace of her inspector's life. He is
...more
Dana Clinton
Another lovely Inspector Brunetti mystery with its usual delightful interludes in the family life of Guido, Paola, Raffi and Chiara (both now teenagers...). The plot revolves around the deliberate professional murder of an African street vendor whom nobody seems to know. The real story comes about slowly but surely, and once again Guido will be frustrated to know the answers but not really be able to act upon them, since of course there is corruption in the mix. The background story has a lot to ...more
Linda Lou McCall
This is the 3rd of this series that I've listened to. I enjoyed "Fatal Remedies" and "Doctored Evidence" so much that bought this one before finishing the 2nd one. (NOTE: All of the books in this series are not available in audiobook format. However, each novel stands on its own without much passage of time between each so the reader is able to jump around, even skipping several without much impact upon our enjoyment.).

This book plods along with usual slow pace of the author, with much "stage b
...more
Natalie Tyler
Donna Leon has got a simply wonderful series of books going. If you've been to Venice or even ir you have not, you will love the mention of various places in town. Venice is not a huge city so most readers will be able to place a lot of the scenes.

Secondly, Brunetti, his wise wife, and his two teen-aged children make a wonderful core for the series in addition to the 3 or 4 colleagues in the Venetian constabulary who make regular appearances. Some have got a very admirable moral compass and othe
...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
Pat
I think my favorite thing about Leon is her characterization of Brunetti: beset upon by his boss and kids, swimming upstream against absurd procedures, bending the rules to get the job done, a lone voice of honesty crying in the wilderness.
I liked it that the dead man is never identified, just as all Africans are the same in the eyes of other nationalities. The Senegalese immigrants' plight is well-documented: their illegal means to make a living, squalid living conditions, dismissed and discre
...more
Robyn
I'm not really sure what my problem with this book really was. Maybe it was due to the fact that I'm working super hard at uni at the moment and so didn't have much time to spend catching up on this book which is why it took me an uncharacteristically long time to finish. I don't know, the story was interesting enough, but I simply didn't connect with the characters at all - and the mystery somehow didn't capture my interest from the start. I also thought it was quite slow - there was no twists ...more
John Frankham
As usual, a very good detective story, with sensitive and touching handling of death, scathing analysis of geo-political corruption, brilliant family relationships, and venetian background.
Kathleen
This time the mystery revolves around the vu cumprà of Venice, illegal aliens who earn money by hawking things like knock-off designer handbags on the street. When one of their number is murdered, Brunetti is drawn into the shadowy world of these desperate men who are anonymous and almost invisible non-entities until something like this happens. Commissario Brunetti, not surprisingly, finds himself in the minority with his compassion for the downtrodden and disenfranchised. His insistence that j ...more
Ellen
If you like Venice, murder mysteries and don't care if the writing is interesting, you might enjoy this book.
Shuriu
She dipped a corner of a biscuit in her caffè latte, ate it, and continued. "Never once have I heard anyone say, 'Yes, Gemma's really not very bright, so I understand why she didn't do well in mathematics,' or, 'Nanni is a bit of a dope, you know, especially at languages.' Not a bit of it. Their children are always the best and the brightest, are perceived as spending every waking moment bent over their books, and into the lambent clarity of their minds no teacher has ever been capable of adding ...more
Linnaea
This is the 5th or 6th Donna Leon book that I have read. The heart of this series is Brunetti. The Commissario has a kindness about him even when dealing with horrific crimes (Leon doesn't go into too much detail, but what little she shares is enough to show the horror) or the absolute corruption that is the Venetian/Italian police system. The time spent with his family around the dinner table show that Brunetti is a good man who understands the difference between justice and arrest and that oft ...more
Jan C
Aug 09, 2009 Jan C rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conspiracy theorists
Shelves: italy, mystery
I really enjoy Donna Leon's series about Commissario Brunetti and the corruption that is Venice. Or, as in this case, the corruption that is Italy.

It is a Christmas book. For those who want to get an early start on their holiday mayhem.

It seems they have a big problem with immigrants (mostly illegal) from Africa, primarily Senegal. They pull them in and the cops give them a warning to get out of the country in 24 hours and they are back on the street. It is a vicious cycle. One of the cops, at o
...more
Cornerofmadness
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
This story turns a magnifying glass on the plight as well as the ethics of illegal immigration. A seemingly innocuous man from Senegal is gunned down while selling his knockoff hand bags in a public square. He is like a ghost because no one knows his name, or where he lives or what lead to his murder. Commissario Guido Brunetti probes into the man and his life but learns little that isn't conjecture or speculation.

The story takes place at Christmas time and the background of how this holiday is
...more
Helen
When you see the phrase Blood from a Stone the immediate idea connection is 'you can't get..." but that is not the connection here. There are illegal aliens who work as itinerant street salesmen in Venice; originally they were Moroccans but latterly they are Senegalese. What they are selling is ladies' handbags. This was the first question posed: if the bags are made in the same factory, by the same workmen using the same materials and skills then are the bags fakes? After some discussion our ho ...more
Maria
Além de um livro policial Pedras Ensanguentadas leva-nos ao universo da imigração ilegal e da venda de materiais contrafeitos nomeadamente de malas de imitação de estilistas famosos.
O já conhecido Guido Brunetti é chamado para desvendar o assassínio de um imigrante ilegal negro, ao que tudo indica oriundo do Senegal que foi morto por dois homens quando vendia o seu material. O cadáver ter cinco balas todas elas mortíferas o que o leva pelos meandros dos interesses ou não que envolvem este mundo.
...more
Catherine
As I read this, my first, book by Donna Leon, I had the impression that she is responding to the call, "Let there be peace and let it begin with me."

Commisarion Brunetti & his wife, Paola are two wonderful characters: two good people whose eyes on the world are jaded enough to be believable, but not so much to fall into the facile abyss of cynicism. They're appreciative of their good fortune: two decent children; a home life that they both nurture and enliven; careeres that allow them gente
...more
Tracy Terry
Coming highly recommended by several friends and fellow bloggers I found both of these 'Brunetti' books (numbers 10 and 14 in the series) to be everything they said they'd be ...... and more. And having seen the characters develop over these two books fully intend to read the other books in chronological order.

Crime capers set in exquisitely described Venice, I found both A Sea Of Troubles (book 10) and, Blood From A Stone (book 14) to be a bit more relaxed and less graphic, one could almost say
...more
Lori
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart
I loved this book. Although it is the 14th in the series of Guido Brunetti detective novels, it is the first I have read. Brunetti is a police detective in Venice, Italy. The background makes the book already interesting enough, but the way it is written makes it superb. The author seemed to me to capture the atmosphere of Venice perfectly. The descriptions are excellent and the observations are apposite. Additionally, as Brunetti seems to go home for lunch every day, we have descriptions of foo ...more
Monica
“Blood From a Stone” is the 14th book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series by Donna Leon. Leon is an incredible mystery/crime writer. She focuses much more on the depth of the story, the details behind the crime, than she does on the blood and gore that is so prevalent in many mystery plots.

Brunetti becomes a stronger character with each book that Leon writes. Not because her writing is getting any better, as her writing is already exceptional, but because when read as a series the
...more
Peter
As usual w. Leon, not too much Blood; the Stone is (blood) diamonds, of course. Again, very good, slightly cryptic dialogue keeps the brain ticking along, and the plot and Brunetti family relations unfolding nicely in tandem.

Characterization: as usual, the (auto?)biographical strengths of Paola, Brunetti's wife, give her some of the deepest thoughts on human nature, as papa Brunetti bumbles through his family life - at least it's not fractured, like most Brit lead-cops'; but we still have the r
...more
LJ
BLOOD FROM A STONE (Police Procedural-Venice-Cont) – G+
Leon, Donna- 15th in series
William Heinemann, 2005- UK Hardcover
Commissario Guido Brunetti is investigating the murder of a street vendor; one of the many illegal immigrants from Africa who sell imitation designer handbags. What makes his death unusual is that it was a professional hit done in plain few of tourists. When Brunetti finds where the man had been living, he also finds a stash of uncut diamonds inside a box of table salt. Although
...more
Mark
Disappointing on every level. Maybe my expectations are too high, but Leon raises them: great setting (Venice), likable detective(Commissario Brunetti), interesting murder (an undocumented African street vendor), international political intrigue (conflict diamonds). But first the location: I hate writers who choose exotic foreign settings (geographic and/or historical) but don't really evoke them for readers. I get no real picture of Venice here; because Brunetti is a native, he can take the cit ...more
Spuddie
#14 Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery set in Venice. When a black immigrant (probably illegal) is shot to death in a crowded marketplace where he was selling knock-off designer handbags, Guido begins an investigation--which is made doubly difficult by the fact that, since the man and his friends are in the country illegally, no one knows who he is, where he lives, or what the motive for murder could possibly be.

Guido calls in a few favors to slightly underground friends around town and locates
...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...

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)
  • 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)
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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