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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,363 Ratings  ·  323 Reviews
A pitch-perfect mystery, an alluring portrait of contemporary Venice, and an elucidating eye into the attitudes of a timeless place in the grip of change.

Donna Leon's international best-selling and award-winning Commissario Guido Brunetti novels have been praised for their ability to place their readers into the thick of contemporary Venetian life. Now Blood from a Stone b
Paperback, 355 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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 this case, he does not
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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
Jun 19, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
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...
Ann McReynolds
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The continuing saga of G
Jun 04, 2016 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
Tracy Terry
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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: kindle-book, mystery
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

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
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
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
If you like Venice, murder mysteries and don't care if the writing is interesting, you might enjoy this book.
John Frankham
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Vorig jaar februari schreef ik, nadat ik Besmet Bewijs had gelezen (Doctored Evidence) dat ik graag nog eens een boek zou lezen over Commissario Brunetti. Mijn wens werd vervuld, want Van Ditmar liet Blood from a stone bij mij bezorgen. Het boek zal overigens in april 2005 uitkomen bij De Boekerij, onder de titel Vertrouwelijke zaken.

Deze keer wordt Brunetti geconfronteerd met de moord op een Senegalees. Hij maakt deel uit van een groep illegalen, die in hun onderhoud voorzien door het verkopen
Michael Johnston
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Another great Commissario Brunetti mystery, but this one is dark from beginning to end. An illegal Senegalese immigrant is murdered by professional hit men. To all appearances, the victim was just one of the many immigrants selling fake designer goods to tourists on the street. Why then was he murdered and what was he involved with that would draw the ire of someone who would hire a professional to kill him?

While attempting to work around the corrupt legal system, the book also touches on issues
Joanne Fish
Page 81 of 276

I'm doing something I normally don't do. I never review a book after only reading anyone pages however this book has really disappointed me and its political nature. I read books to escape, to go different places, and Venice is a city that I love. However by page 81 I am tired of the way people are being very careful to use only PC language, and tripping over themselves to not be offensive. I'm also tired of the issue of global warming and the UN report on global warming and the op
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this outing with Commissario Guido Brunetti, author Donna Leon spends much time examining the sad state of justice in a corrupt state. Her Venetian policemen are honest foot soldiers in the fight to bring villains to punishment. But too often, powerful political figures or agencies interfere. Readers hoping for the bad guys to meet just desserts should look elsewhere.
Brunetti and his team attempt to solve the professional assassination of a vu cumpra a street peddler trading in counterfeit ha
Lucile Barker
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

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
Michele Weiner
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Commissario Brunetti is a commendably effective detective with a commendably loving family. His wife makes him delicious meals at midday and at dinner, which are carefully described and include things like radicchio. In this respect, he reminds me of Inspector Maigret of Paris. And like Maigret, Brunetti is incorruptible. His methods are sometimes "on the left," but his aim is always truth and justice. He has a few allies within the department, and a few enemies. He is beginning to rely on the s ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
This was okay, but not Donna Leon's best. Although one of the things I like about her books is Comissario Brunetti's ruminations about life, his work, and his colleagues, there were perhaps too many rambling thoughts and conversations here--for example, a long discussion about global warming with his sergeant. I began wondering if this was going to tie into the murder mystery somehow--but no. The "solution" to the mystery was also not terribly satisfactory. Perhaps this book mirrors how things g ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment this book was. I had read a few of the earlier Brunettis and enjoyed them, but this was so pointless that by the end I was just saying 'you have GOT to be kidding me, that's it?" There is no real resolution and precious little mystery to this tale. It rambled around so much that it lost my attention half the time, and then it went nowhere at all. I felt like I had just wasted a chunk of my time, which is the most annoying part.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fa
This book just felt rather foolish. Brunetti doesn't actually *do* anything, things just happen around him. And he eats.

Leon isn't very subtle with the message she's trying to pass to her readers, but it's funny (yet not surprising) how very racist she manages to be while trying to denounce racism.

Maybe I have read too many of these books? Perhaps I should take a break from this series. But I suspect this is just a subpar entry in it.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Donna Leon writes about the execution-style murder of a young man who is an illegal African immigrant. Who would want to murder a street vendor while leaving those nearby totally untouched? Leon's books often uncover an underworld of corruption, one of the plot elements that make her books so enjoyable.
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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 27 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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“pasticcio” 0 likes
“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.” 0 likes
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