Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1) Death at La Fenice discussion


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message 1: by jillian (new) - added it

jillian I have picked up a few of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti Series but set them all back down because I'm not sure if I can start just anywhere in the series!

Do I have to start from book one, Death at La Fenice, in order to understand the rest of the series or can I pick up the newest edition and/or skip around and comfortably understand?


Jan C I don't think I started with the first book. But I went back to the first one - learned who everybody is, what the relationships are, etc.

And I have been reading her ever since.


Lobstergirl I think you can skip around. Brunetti has a very stable family life, wife and two kids (at least, in all the ones I've read), so it's not like one of those mystery series where the detective starts out single, has GF/BFs, gets married, gets divorced, etc., where you want a chronological unfolding of events.

Someone can correct me, if he ends up getting divorced somewhere in the series!


Elli I've read the first two and will get the third soon. I like the series, am so glad I was introduced to it. And I like Italian from the city-states viewpoint!


Peggy I had this series recommended to me by a number of people, but our library didn't own a copy of Death at La Fenice. I bought a paperback copy so I could begin at the beginning, but I don't think you need to, either. Lots of times starting in the middle is the best incentive for me to go back and read earlier entries in the series. It's always fun for me to find out how a particular character was introduced, or realize why they are motivated to do certain things. I'd say, go for any of the books but if you like to take things in order, it won't hurt to hold out for reading Death at La Fenice first; just make sure you get hold of it, you'll really enjoy it.


Julie I guess I'm just OCD but I always start series at the beginning. It's kind of like adding layers to a cake . With each new book something new is added that is continually built on in the following books. I checked the first one in this series out of my library. I enjoyed it and will keep reading them!


Olivia Stowe Having only read book one I can't say. I enjoyed it though and will read more.


Sandi I have/read them all. I think reading them in order is better. There are lots of characters and growth of friendships, etc. Her most recent ones have been disappointing. The plots have felt thinner; fewer pages also. I'm starting to think she wants to expose Italy's corrupt government rather than write a great mystery. I hope the next one is better.


Lobstergirl Sandi wrote: "I'm starting to think she wants to expose Italy's corrupt government rather than write a great mystery."

Yes, I agree. Henning Mankell (Wallander crime procedurals) also had a similar problem - with Sweden, but also sometimes African countries that he would bring into the narrative. I often felt like Mankell's plots were suffering at the expense of whatever societal sermonizing he wanted to do.


Sandi Lobstergirl wrote: "Sandi wrote: "I'm starting to think she wants to expose Italy's corrupt government rather than write a great mystery."

Yes, I agree. Henning Mankell (Wallander crime procedurals) also had a simil..."


I wonder if authors/publishers get these comments.


message 11: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom Always read them in order because the main characters change - particularly the good ones, to name only a few, like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder, and Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko (who moves from the Cold War to Putin's Russia). Even Donald Westlake's Richard Stark books about Parker has the character change.

Think of these series as a single book with each book a chapter.


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