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Blood from a Stone
Donna Leon
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Blood from a Stone

(Commissario Brunetti #14)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,637 ratings  ·  414 reviews
On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death--fake handbags of every designer label. The dead man had been working as a vu cumpra, one of the many African immigrants purveying goods outside normal shop hours and wi ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2005)
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Robin You don't have to read the previous books, as this book stands alone as far as the plot is concerned. HOWEVER, as this is the 14th book in the series,…moreYou don't have to read the previous books, as this book stands alone as far as the plot is concerned. HOWEVER, as this is the 14th book in the series, the characters are well-developed by this point, and I believe that one would be missing a lot of the nuances, and thus an enjoyable part of the book, without getting to know the characters first.(less)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Alex is The Romance Fox
Blood From a Stone, Donna Leon’s 14th Guido Brunetti mystery novel deals with the problems Italy is facing with illegal immigrants.
Commissario Brunetti investigates the murder of an illegal African street vendor.
 photo vu-cumpra-1_zpsxbfta5r8.jpg
The story is set at Xmas time in Venice so we get a look into the local festivities and the local life during this period.
 photo venice-christmas-ITAL0716_zpsth0feep8.jpg
Once again, Brunetti is thrown into the middle of politics and corruption and intrigue. Despite the obstacles he faces in trying to solve thi
Jul 18, 2016 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 01, 2015 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
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
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
Jun 19, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Yep, I'm giving up. I've read 20% of the book and all that happened was Brunetti eating and drinking, family drama and most of the​ police force saying at least one racist thing. They spend more time contemplating the political situation than the actual crime.
This book is full of stupid stereotypes and almost everyone is racist without realising it...
Clare O'Beara
Brunetti is by now a vehicle for the author to discuss aspects of corruption. Venice is a metaphor for Italy as a whole. We also see that Italy is part of Europe, and the rest of us around the EU will feel outraged at the casual and corrupt way in which undocumented African economic migrants are allowed into Italy illegally.

Standing in the cold selling knockoff bags in the street, the Senegalese men in this story are presumed by one and all to be acting for the mafia. The bags are made in the s
Corruption is rampant in Donna Leon's Venice. Venetians might have invented quid pro quo. It seems impossible to get anything done there without one hand washing the other, so to speak.

That holds true for the police as well. That is the milieu in which Commissario Guido Brunetti must operate. It's what he must deal with to extract information, investigate crimes, and achieve justice for the victims. In fact, in these dark stories, there is very little justice achieved.

Leon always manages to bri
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the Inspector Brunetti mystery series, set in Venice, by Donna Leon. Blood from a Stone is no exception. It contains the best features of all of the books I've read in the series, great food, a loving family, Brunetti's fantastic assistants and political intrigue.

The basic story is the murder of an African refugee by unknown assailants while he sells fake purses along with other refugees in Venice. The murder is witnessed by a group of American t
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When an African street vendor selling counterfeit brand name bags dies, Brunetti gets called to the scene. With only American tourists as witnesses, he begins to reconstruct what happened and begins investigating the man's identity and residence. A search of the man's home reveals hidden gems of high value. However, Patta tells Brunetti to quit investigating. Two higher agencies take over the investigation. Brunetti smells something amiss. The reader is left asking questions as this one leaves m ...more
Felicity Terry
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2009 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.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed Ms. Leon's Brunetti series. I feel as if I'm in the middle of Venice, enjoying the foods, sounds, and people. This one doesn't disappoint in that manner.

This mystery was darker than other Brunetti mysteries I've read. The murder of a vu cumpra and the politics that come with investigating a murder no one seems to care about (except for Brunetti) seems incredibly relevant in today's political climate. The vu cumpra's are masters at being invisible during the day and disappeari
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun read in this serious. But I was a little disappointed. It seemed to me the author's heart wasn't in it as much as in the preceding books. I missed the humor, as there is less in this book. But I will keep reading. The characters are simply too well done to give up because the plot wasn't all I had hoped it would be. And this book did deal with important issues like immigration and discrimination.
Dianne Landry
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guido-brunetti
This series continues to be enjoyable. I am very glad I discovered it.
Barbara Nutting
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read 2013
Carol Quayle
Slow moving, not a typical Brunetti read.
Carolyn Fagan
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this may be my favorite Commissario Brunetti story yet. So many layers and all brought seamlessly together. I like that Leon never feels it necessary to tie everything up neatly. And of course as long as the story has enough of Paola, Raffi and Chiari and descriptions of their meals, I am happy!
Ann McReynolds
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The continuing saga of G
Virginia Tican
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally noticed after reading the 9th Brunetti book that the titles always give a hint as to what every murder or death is about, whether a thing or something closely related to the murder or the murderer. This one concerns a hit put on an itinerant vendor from Africa and a refugee among thousands of other refugees ever since Europe became the EU and borders between countries have been opened. As temporary denizens of Venice, the refugees from the Dark Continent have for the most part been pol ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
I really enjoyed this book, but the ending was so unsatisfying. Frustrating even. The message resonated with respect to the fact that immigrants are seen as "the other" or "less than," and given the way that resonates in Trump's America, I was hoping for an ending that vindicated the idea that all lives matter, even those of an undocumented black street vendor in Venice. Alas, the ending was more realistic than idealistic.

I enjoyed the time spent with Brunetti and company, including the lessons
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donna-leon
The Brunetti series have a clear and much-loved formula and cast.

Most of the chocolate box of characters makes an appearance. This episode has a slightly less two-dimensional Patta, sees the introduction of Foa the boatman, and Puchetti starts to get more walk-on appearances. The normally unflappable, albeit introspection-prone, Brunetti has a few uncharacteristic dizzy spells and periods of distraction.

The "mystery" in this volume is not at all deep and in danger of becoming peripheral to a so
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel was written 10 years ago, but could have been written today. The stone referred to here are the blood diamonds - diamonds that have been used to fuel civil war conflicts in various African countries. When a black man from Africa - the assumption is that he is Senegalese - is shot dead in what is obviously an assassination, Brunetti investigates. He searches the apartment that the man shared with several other men and finds a bag of uncut diamonds in a bag of sugar. It isn't long befor ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle-book
This suited my mood. I wanted a light yet intelligent book that transported me to another, somewhat exotic place. Maybe a crime novel, but not bloody and grim, just intriguing. Donna Leon's Commisario Brunetti novels can fulfill this need, and this one, true to form, sufficed nicely. Venice... that's the ticket. I've been there a couple times and wandered the streets for days on end. So some of what was in this book was familiar, but Leon takes us behind the tourist sights to visit however brief ...more
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

I am very much a Donna Leon and Commissario Brunetti fan, having read many of the books in the series at this point and having rated most of them 5 stars. But this particular novel seemed to drag, partly because of several two long, repetitious dialogues between Guido and wife Paola concerning their adolescent daughter. As in every novel in the series, a social issue is at the center of the plot and Blood from a Stone deals with African immigrants come to Venice to sell knock-off merchandise whe
Nov 24, 2012 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
Lucile Barker
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

88. Blood from a stone by Donna Leon
When a Somali street vendor of counterfit handbags is killed on the street before Christmas, Brunetti is faced with the indifference of Venetian police and his own daughter. As he tries to unravel the motive and the killers, the case becomes even more tangled. When Brunetti finds a stash of diamonds in a salt box, things get gnarly. When he is told to back off because the higher ups in Rome are going to investigate, it’s waving a red flag in front of a bull. V
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The standard Donna Leon fare, which is to say quite good. After all these years, Commissario Brunetti is still viewing the world, expecting it to be better and dismayed that it’s not. And we so agree with him. Leon’s greatest ability is to project Brunetti as a philosopher while engaged in mundane police work, and it’s the contemplative underpinnings to the stories that make them so attractive. His colleagues, his family, and the people involved in the present crime(s) always come across as real ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear. I just don't know what to do with Donna Leon books. Brunetti is a great character. All the secondary characters are well written. The sentances are lovely. The plots--oy vey. 325 pages of set up and then oh, oops secret government group takes over and we'll never know what happened. Something to do with diamonds and rich companies being able to take over small countries to mine out those diamonds. I am left frustrated and while I enjoyed the writing, what was the point of telling us tha ...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

Other books in the series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 29 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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“Pucetti’s was the generation that was all in favour of sentiment, sharing other people’s pain, voicing compassion for the downtrodden, yet Brunetti often found in them traces of a ruthlessness that chilled his spirit and made him fearful for the future. He wondered if the cheap sentimentality of television and film had sent them into some sort of emotional insulin shock and suffocated their ability to feel empathy with the unappealing victims of the mess that real life created.” 1 likes
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