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Blood From a Stone (Commissario Brunetti, #14)
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Blood From a Stone (Commissario Brunetti #14)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,479 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a man 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 - but they have seen nothing that might be of much help to the police.

When Commissario Brunetti arrives on the scene, he finds
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 2006 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jul 18, 2016 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second fun-fiction read on recent 2 week vacation in MN.

Pretty good addition to Leon's Brunetti series. I've only read a few, this probably the latest. I must have picked it up as a remainder a couple years ago.

Brunetti is a likeable Venetian police investigator, good at his job, has a part-time professor wife, at this stage in his life a couple teen aged kids whom he doesn't understand near as well as his spouse does. The family provides sometimes connected story lines which puts the whole
Feb 25, 2015 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ah, Brunetti. There was much to enjoy in this installment (fights over fettucine! finding out that Brunetti's favorite emperor is, of course, Julian!), but the overall mystery was a big ol' racist mess. Whenever Donna Leon finds a Message that she wants to impart, she does so without any pretense of subtlety whatsoever. It's hard to tell if this novel accurately represents racial tensions in Venice, represents a caricature of racial tensions in Venice, or represents Donna Leon's personal feeling ...more
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
Jun 06, 2016 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The murder of an African man who sells counterfeit high-fashion purses in the campi leads Brunetti and Vianello into dark corners in which they contend with, not only the mystery, but their own Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both of which contend with each other. There are many secrets, lots of 007 nonsense by the inept Vice-Questore Patta, and answers that never quite get answered.

The victim's name is never discovered, his body is spirited away by the 'authoritie
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.
Sep 13, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Bryan Higgs
As I've noted in my reviews of other books in this series, I've been puzzled as to why many of my friends (mostly female) who read and comment on what they read are enthusiastic about these Dona Leon books. I had a chance to explore that question at a recent book group meeting. It turns out that the things that make me not like them as much are perhaps the reason why my friends do like them. One friend said that she liked them as social commentary; my frustration at very few of these books comin ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Trine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-swedish
Camilla Tilly
Feb 22, 2016 Camilla Tilly rated it liked it
If you've been to Venezia, you have seen them. They are all over. The vu cumpras that stand and sell fake Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton bags on the streets and bridges. They're contrary to what the book says, aggressive in their sale techniques and if they see the police they grab all their bags' handles and flee like gazelles. That is why I found this book good. Because it brings up another facet of Venetian life.

The book starts with two assassins' walk through a Christmas fair, up to the vu cump
Dana Clinton
Jun 13, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
May 11, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 08, 2015 Robyn rated it it was ok
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
Apr 12, 2013 John Frankham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
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.
Mimi Jones
Interesting and timely premise: the plight of illegal immigrants in Venice, Italy. A Somalian seller of counterfeit purses is murdered; investigating the case, Commisario Guido Brunetti finds that the dead man had millions of Euros worth of first quality diamonds hidden in a bag of salt in his squalid apartment. Brunetti is warned off the case by his superior but insists on pursuing it, and learns that the intrigue reaches to the highest levels of the Italian government.

I found the story more co
Nicholas Good
Aug 27, 2015 Nicholas Good rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I read this book aloud on a 900 mile car trip and the time flew by. A nice combination of thought providing: even through the book was written 10 years ago the immigration issues, the problems with street vendors in a very touristy area, and ongoing habits of govermental corruption are still very much with us. The plot component of the story is not very complex; it is the local color - reliving the places we've walked by in Venice, the Brunetti family life, and the cast of characters ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly disappointing compared to the other Brunetti I read. Brunetti seems to be more selfish personally while espousing "high" ideals to wife and daughter. On the other hand, Paola's remarks to her daughter, and then the excuses she makes for them are reprehensible, even if well-intentioned.

The other notable thing is how much they seem to eat. It's surprising that they aren't blimps.

The mystery itself isn't all that interesting because once again it involves foreigners and international comp
Feb 28, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2009 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you like Venice, murder mysteries and don't care if the writing is interesting, you might enjoy this book.
Aug 18, 2016 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder of an African illegal immigrant who sells knock offs on the street leads Commissario Brunetti into an investigation cramped by political challenges. His superior, Patta, wants him to leave the case alone, since higher ups have determined that other arms of the law should be in charge. But Brunetti persists, trying to balance the investigation without jeopardizing the safety of those near and dear to him. As usual there are family lunches and dinners that test Brunetti's and Paola's pare ...more
Hanley5545 Hanley
Jul 31, 2016 Hanley5545 Hanley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart for darkness

The commissario finds himself almost overpowered in the profoundly tragic murder case that tests his own perspectives and values as he once again navigates across the complex worlds of a corrupt and indifferent Venetian and Italian society and bureaucracy. Conflict diamonds provide the source of the Manchurian as well as the stoned of the title. And the issues of illegal immigration and the means by which the State justifies its own agenda further darken Guido's heart as if C
Mary Ellen
Sep 07, 2015 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
An engaging mystery, somewhat timely, centering on the death of an illegal migrant street vendor. As often happens, Brunetti's family interactions expand on themes raised by the exploration of the crime. It is a pleasure to find nuance and grey areas in the characters, even in Brunetti's obnoxious superior, Patta.

However, the story is more of a vehicle for reflections on human behavior and attitudes than a crisply focused whodunit, so fans who want a trail of clues and a neat solution should loo
Jul 20, 2016 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written 10 years ago, this centers on the execution-style murder of one of the African sellers of fake designer handbags who display their wares on sheets in Venice after the regular shops close. At the time, the immigrants mostly came from Senegal so the problem is somewhat different to today's migrant crisis in Europe.
As always, Donna Leon keeps the mystery moving along at a decent pace, but the true joy of reading her Brunetti series comes in the musings and reflections of Commissario Brunett
Rebecca Nebesar
Mar 24, 2016 Rebecca Nebesar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blood-diamonds
This is now the tenth Leon novel I have read in the Brunetti series. It has all the ingredients that make her novels so alluring and addictive. This particular story has to do with immigration, prejudice against immigrants, international finance, weapons, revolution and blood diamonds from disputed territory in Africa. It all takes place during Christmas. Having the perspective of familiarity, I notice that this episode in the ongoing struggles of the Venice detective in the teeming world of cul ...more
May 27, 2015 Shuriu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 27, 2014 Linnaea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 25 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)

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