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Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti #3)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  6,193 Ratings  ·  415 Reviews
Donna Leonas Commissario Guido Brunetti series grows more popular in America with the publication of every new novel. In this installment, Brunettias hopes of a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Margheraaa body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 1994)
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Alex is The Romance Fox
Dressed to Kill, the 3rd book in Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti Series starts with a body found behind a slaughterhouse in Marghera. Despite the case falling under the Mestre police department, Brunetti is sent to investigate due to a shortage of detectives in that station. Brunetti is not pleased with the situation as he was due to start his leave and take his family to a vacation in the mountains.

At first, the body is thought to be of a male transvestite prostitute but when it’s identified
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Donna Leon-- a bit more grizzly and sordid than some-- but really worth the read for the start of Chapter Twenty-Three, in which our hero, Commissario of Police Guido Brunetti, having a rare night home alone without his wife and children, cooks his supper and reads Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome... "The heat usually robbed Brunetti of all appetite, but that night he found himself really hungry... He stopped at Rialto on the way home, surprised to find some of the fruit and vege ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First a disclaimer, that I'm returning to the earlier Brunetti novels and reading the ones I missed. So this was read after 21 others, although it is only #3 in the series. And I also have to admit that my very favorites are all within the last 10 books when there has been much deeper and "crux /core" peeled down character development.

But this one was GOOD. It was harsher, more sordid and had tougher language and sensibilities in its tone and within Guido's reaction than 90% of all the other 20
Aug 01, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those sick of quaint mysteries
Shelves: italy, borrowed
What follows is less a review than a series of anecdotes and digressions (rather like Tristram Shandy).
I found myself in a quandry; I was getting ready to leave work, and I had misplaced my copy of The Worst Intentions (according to Freud, there are no accidents), which left me without a book to read on my weekend. I picked up a knackered pocketbook copy of Dressed For Death, which, if you have ever tried to sell books at Green Apple, tells you all you need to know about Donna Leon: we simply
Alan Chen
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's summer in Italy and everyone is on vacation, Brunetti was suppose to start his in the coming weekend but he gets called into a murder in the neighboring city of Mestre when they have no Commisarios on hand. What appears at first as a transvestite prostitute killed by a trick turns out to be more complex,...Don't they always? The mystery is average, its drawn out and meanders but it's not that complex. I'm starting to see a pattern with Leon, the murders all seem to have elements of corrupti ...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brunetti
3rd in the Commisario Brunetti series set in Venice.[return][return]In a field in Mestre, a small city just to the west of Venice on the mainland, in a field used by the most desperate type of prostitutes, a worker in an abbatoir discovers the body of a middle-aged man dressed in a cheap red dress and red shoes. His face has been smashed in, making him virtually unidentifiable.[return][return]Because it s August, and Mestre s Questura is understaffed due to holidays and other misfortunes, Patta ...more
Häkli A.
Kirjassa kerrotaan, kun venetsiassa löytyy transvestiittiprostituoidun ruumis. Komisario Guido Brunetti lähtee ratkomaan pulmaa. Tutkimukset johtavat hänet yhä korkeamalle Venetsian nimekkäiden piireihin.Ja yhä enemmän hän on vaarassa kuolla itse.

Mielestäni olisin mennyt lomalle kuin tutkimaan mies huoran kuolemaa. Ja murhaaminen ei ole oikein varsinkaan tälläinen, koska en itse haluaisi sellaista kuolemaa ja tuskin kukaan muukaan. Trnsvestiittiprostitoitujen kohtelu on huonoa. Heidät hakataan p
Narrator: David Colacci

I rather enjoyed this even though at times I got weary of the Italian accent and wanted a break but the story was compelling enough to keep me listening. I guess I will get used to it eventually as I find Brunetti such a likeable man. It's such a refreshing change to have a homicide cop with a healthy, happy family life and I hope that doesn't change, even if some people think it unrealistic. I found this happy aspect so welcome especia
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes even the bad guys do fall

Commissario Brunetti gets assigned a case that is in neighboring Mestre, across the causeway from Venice. It starts out as a murder of a transvestite, beaten nearly beyond recognition. But was is initially unrecognizable is the accumulating set of small details that start to form a clearer picture of the case, and reverse the direction if the investigation.

This is a story about power, financial greed and the insightful persistence of a first class writer unvei
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying the Brunetti series. Though they are technically crime novels, Commissario Brunetti is quite fun to follow around his home city of Venice. Leon also describes in detail what Guido and his wife Paola are eating for nearly every meal. If you like food, Italy, or just a good read, this might be the series for you.
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Donna Leon is a splendid writer. Her intelligent perspective makes each of her mysteries a delight. The Venetian setting is amazingly real. I marvel at Commissario Brunetti's ability to retain his humanity and decency despite the corruption he encounters at so many levels of society. These books are my summer treats.
A well done mystery with an appealing lead character, interesting Venice setting, and a compelling plot.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005-reads
PROTAGONIST: Guido Brunetti
OCCUPATION: Commissario
SETTING: Venice, Italy
SERIES: #3 of 15

Venice is in the middle of a heat wave, a situation that has put everyone out of sorts, including Commissario Guido Brunetti. Fortunately for him, he and his family are planning a vacation to the much cooler mountain region. But before he can even pack a pair of underwear, he’s involved in a new case. A transvestite whore is found murdered in a field outside of a slaughterhouse in Mestre. Dressed i
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Venice is never a mere background for Donna Leon's engaging mysteries: the city is as much a character in the unfolding plot as the police and the villains. And Venice, it seems, is never short of villains. There is corruption at the heart of the case that confronts the amiable Commissario Brunetti but the story begins with a body. Not a body that is what it at first appears, but one that leads into the louche world of transvestite prostitution.

Leon's books are the more believable for the fact
Jann Barber
Our mystery book club members July selection was to pick one of Donna Leon's books. I chose "Dressed for Death."

I had to laugh when I realized that this book was set in Venice during an extremely hot period of several weeks when many citizens leave town in search of cooler haunts. Reading it during an extremely hot period of time here seemed appropriate, although I admit that I sat in air conditioning as I read. Still, I could definitely relate to the sweating experienced by Commissario Brunetti
Thoroughly bland, but then we don't read mysteries hoping they're actually Joyce or Pynchon, do we? Here, Brunetti investigates the corpse of a transvestite prostitute found outside an abattoir in Mestre....or is it? (A transvestite prostitute, that is. It is an abattoir, it is Mestre.) As always, Venetian corruption dogs his efforts as he ingests insalata caprese, penne rigate in simple sauces, and kilos of peaches, with plenty of acqua minerale to combat the swampy sweaty miasmas of summertime ...more
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who loves a great mystery series
I'd read other Donna Leon books prior to picking up the first of the series. If it had been the first I'd read, it would definitely got me into reading the remainder. It provided an excellent introduction to Commissario Brunetti and the other main characters who make up the cast in the series; his lovely wife, Paola and his two children, son Reggio and precocious daughter Chiara, his team of assistants, Sgt Vianello and secretary Signora Elletro (who I've always had a crush on) and of course, hi ...more
Ellery Adams
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The air in Venice is stifling, but Leon's famous detective doesn't hesitate to dig into the most carefully guarded secrets of Italy's highest citizens to those struggling to survive as prostitutes. Without the support of his beloved family (they've gone on a well-deserved vacation without him) Brunetti doggedly follows a convoluted trail despite the loss of a fellow officer and an assortment of other personal and profesisonal obstacles. From the first scene behind the slaughterhouse, this book w ...more
Heather (DeathByBook)
I have really enjoyed the other titles in this series. It seems that Donna Leon really hit her stride with this one, the third in the series. Not only is it a good mystery tale, but I also love the relationships and banter between Comissario Brunetti and his family. As in the other books of hers that I have read the city of Venice seems to become a vivid character in itself. Leon has real grasp on how to create a sense of place without overdoing the descriptors. I recommend this one highly. A so ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book I've read in the series by Donna Leon, and she continues to capture my attention in yet another intricate murder mystery. The plotting is excellent, the mood is disturbing (a hot setting in Venice adds weight to it), and the characters are strong and credible. The only problem I had was the ability to retain the names of the characters (some of them were similar) and their connection to one another—a complex list that seemed to expand with every new scene. I should have ta ...more
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another excellent Brunetti book. All the Brunetti books peel like an onion giving you glimpses of Italian Society and the problems it faces. The crimes appear to be metaphors for the wrongs and frustrations glimpsed within society as perceived by the writer. The Brunetti books are multi faceted and each one shines like a diamond.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've just discovered the Guido Brunetti mystery series, and have a lot of great reading ahead of me!

This is book 3 in the series (I think she's on 24 or 25!), and was published in 1994.

Great character development, and a quick, enjoyable read.
Jean Marie Angelo
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Tight writing. Given that this book was written almost 20 years ago, some of the topics and views on the gay and transgender communities are dated. Still, very good writing. I will be looking at the other titles in this mystery series.
May 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this as much as Death in a strange country. The plot is somewhat awkward and I got tired of being told that transvestites were people like us, which I knew. Didn't much like the end either
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never tire of this writer and the glorious Venetian settings in her novels. A great whodunnit - a murder of an apparent transvestite which of course is not as it first seems.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2015
Enjoying this series quite a bit.
Heather Clawson
I refuse to rate this book because I've seen better writing on bathroom walls in a skating rink.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely showed its age, and that's actually a good thing. Realizing how far we've come since AIDS first appeared is a little reassuring.

As always, love Guido and his beautiful city.
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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)
  • 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)
  • Wilful Behaviour (Commissario Brunetti, #11)

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“How beautiful, the grace of women; how soft their charity.” 5 likes
“Once, walking with him, Paola had stopped and asked him what he was thinking about, and the fact that she was the only person in the world he would not be embarrassed to tell just what it was he had been thinking about at that moment convinced him, though a thousand things had already done so, that this was the woman he wanted to marry, had to marry, would marry.” 2 likes
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