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By Its Cover: Commissario Guido Brunetti, Book 23 | [Donna Leon]

By Its Cover: Commissario Guido Brunetti, Book 23

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: The culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem-- the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn't exist.
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Publisher's Summary

Donna Leon's critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has attracted listeners the world over with the beauty of its setting, the humanity of its characters, and its fearlessness in exploring politics, morality, and contemporary Italian culture. In Leon's novels, the beloved conversations of the Brunetti family have drawn on topics of art and literature, but books are at the heart of this novel in a way they never have been before.

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: The culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem-- the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn't exist.

As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.

©2014 Donna Leon and Diogenes Verlag, Zurich (P)2014 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (157 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
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Overall
4.0 (137 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (140 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    alexis Richmond, CA, United States 04-07-14
    alexis Richmond, CA, United States 04-07-14 Member Since 2007

    author & web developer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    20
    FOLLOWERS
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    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "Colacci is BACK!!!"

    How delighted I was to hear David Colacci narrating this series again. His performance is perfect, as always. But the story is too brief by far, and it ends so abruptly I was caught completely off-guard. Ms. Leon left me sorely missing the familial warmth of earlier mysteries and the wonderful and wry humor of Senorina Electra, along with the many other riches of most Guido Brunetti stories. It is still a 5-star listen, but be prepared for an almost breathless pace compared to the slow and steady soulfulness and the intelligent and cultured ruminations we've come to expect from Comissario Brunetti!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy United States 06-21-14
    nancy United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
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    Story
    "Interesting subject, but too short"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I usually enjoy Donna Leon books about Inspector Brunetti, but this one seemed very rushed, with an abrupt ending. It seemed like the author suddenly tired of the story and just wanted to get it over with. Too bad, because the subject of stolen pages from very valuable old books could have been so much more. I knew the audio would be short, but when "the end" came, I could hardly believe it.


    If you’ve listened to books by Donna Leon before, how does this one compare?

    There was much less interaction with Brunetti's wife and children, and his fellow police. The story line was good, but could have been developed more deeply.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator is ok, but a bit bland.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope this book doesn't signal the end of the series, if the author is tired of writing them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PhilR 05-15-14
    PhilR 05-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    21
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    Story
    "Back on track"

    It's great to have Colacci back and also to have one of the more enjoyable plots from among the last several books in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Burton Granbury, Texas USA 06-20-14
    Diana Burton Granbury, Texas USA 06-20-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
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    "A true fan of Donna Leon"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes...most especially to friends who have been to Venice and appreciate Italy. Love the mystery and how Brunetti and his team calmly go about ferreting out clues and and work with intelligence and good psychology. The interaction with Brunetti and Paola is insightful and entertaining. It is nice to have a good story without explicit sex or violence, but with appropriate descriptions, even if grisly...as it would exist in most murder investigations. The author is a wonderful storyteller who obviously knows the territory and how things work in police investigating in enchanting Venice.


    What other book might you compare By Its Cover to and why?

    My husband and I have either read or listened to every book Ms. Leon has written. As for comparisons, they all stand on their own as great entertainment and compelling characters and story lines.


    Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    David Colacci and George Guidall are the two performers we especially enjoy. The best!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The abrupt ending was a surprise..mostly because I was not ready for it to end!


    Any additional comments?

    Hope there are more Donna Leon books on the way!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JMM Fl 04-28-14
    JMM Fl 04-28-14 Member Since 2015

    Mystery Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
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    0
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    Story
    "Boring"
    What disappointed you about By Its Cover?

    Story was so boring and I couldn't follow it. I just read it and can't even remember what it was about. She used to write such great mysteries but her last 3 have missed the mark for me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Donna Leon again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Colacci’s performances?

    I like his performances.


    What character would you cut from By Its Cover?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    Go back to what made her books to popular. The interactions between her characters. A lot less pontificating about today's society and more compelling stories.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rigadon USA 07-16-14
    Rigadon USA 07-16-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
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    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I can't say I will.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I didn't mind how it ended. Good writers should let readers conclude on their own.


    What didn’t you like about David Colacci’s performance?

    Truly poor, I can his hear his spit all through the reading. Ms Leon need to consider a new narrator.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It won't.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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