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Dressed for Death | [Donna Leon]

Dressed for Death

Commissario Guido Brunetti's hopes for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera--a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse but is met with a wall of silence. He then receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information.
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Publisher's Summary

Commissario Guido Brunetti's hopes for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera--a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse but is met with a wall of silence. He then receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information. And before night is out, Brunetti is confronting yet another appalling, and apparently senseless, death.

©1994 Donna Leon; (P)2009 BBC Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (247 )
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3.9 (159 )
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4.1 (160 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tom 06-29-10
    Tom 06-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "marvelous duo"

    Author Donna Leon and narrator David Colacci area a marvelous duo. Leon's books are literary mysteries. They aren't blood and guts and violence (well, there is some) and they aren't page turners. Leon brings you into the Italian culture as she weaves a nice mystery. The narrator is superb.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele SEATTLE, WA, United States 01-07-13
    Michele SEATTLE, WA, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2009

    I'm a designer (interiors and graphics) with an English degree. I recovered my love of reading after a disastrous bout with grad school.

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    "Meh!"

    Donna Leon's series has been so highly recommended by so many people for so long that I finally downloaded this book. I found the first half to be very slow-moving, as Leon carefully seeded her plot with clues, red herrings and domestic details. The villains were almost immediately identified, and painted with a very broad brush; the murder "twist" was quickly obvious; the observations on Venetian life only moderately interesting. Then the second half just kind of stumbled to a conclusion. Leon seems very impressed with the decency of her decent characters, which gives the book an odd air of self-satisfaction.

    But perhaps it's the narration I found the most off-putting. The narrator is American, so the descriptive bits feel quite transparent to this listener. But, if every single one of your characters is Italian, why adopt an Italian accent in the dialogue? It's not as if we need to distinguish among nationalities (as we did in Neal Stephenson's "Reamde", for instance, or Jess Walter's "Beautiful Ruins"). It puts an unnecessary distance between the listener and the characters, as if they are "colorful characters" rather than people.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 10-01-12
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2007
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    "This is my favorite in the series so far"

    I havent read the whole series, nor have I read them in order, but this one definitely kept my attention better than the others I have heard.
    Commissario Guido is called to a crime scene where the body of what appears to be a transvestite prostitute. However, something doesn't seem quite right to the Commissario and he refuses to just write the crime off because of the type of victim. Besides, the corpse has a body much like Guido's own and he doubts this is a figure people would pay for.
    From the undercover world of the gay and transvestite scene in Venice to the seedy and even more covert world of Italian finance Guido must ferret out the truth while staying alive and thwarting very powerful men.
    Honestly, the ways in which the characters have to confront ideas of italian masculinity in this maybe what amused me the most. However, it does have a good amount of action as well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Long Beach, CA, United States 08-14-12
    Robert Long Beach, CA, United States 08-14-12
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    "I'm hooked!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dressed for Death the most enjoyable?

    The vivid depiction of Venice.
    David Colacci's narration.
    Great characters.
    The author's understanding of Italy and the Italian people.
    Good story telling that kept my interest till the end.


    What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

    His ability to change his voice to create/interpret the various characters in the book. I actually purchased this book (I'm a first time Donna Leon reader) because Colacci was doing the narration. I became of Colacci from reading the John Lescroart, Dismas Hardy series.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, because I wanted to make it last as long as possible. I could have listened in one sitting, but I forced myself to limit my sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking forward to my next book by Donna Leon, but I want Colacci to be the reader. I sampled a little of Willful Behavior with Steven Crossley doing the read and decided I'd skip this one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 10-25-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 10-25-14 Member Since 2007

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MY NEWEST "GUILTY PLEASURE" IN BOOK SERIES"

    Gotta love Italian police detective Guido Brunetti! Author Donna Leon serves up Venetian life with a side a great food and wines. The characters are well-rounded and the subject matter is deeply researched. I'm working my way through the entire series and I'm hoping that the missing audiobooks will be available soon.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 10-14-12
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 10-14-12 Member Since 2005
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    "I am so happy to have found this series"
    Any additional comments?

    I am so happy to have found this series with the wonderful Commissario Guido Brunetti. Raised on Hercule Poirot and falling in love with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in the Louise Penny’s Three Pines Mysteries, I was searching for another similar series with a smart and likable lead character. I tried the NYPD sergeant Kathleen Mallory series by Carol O'Connell and was very disappointed with the cardboard characters . I am looking forward to listening to all the books with Brunetti and getting to know and like him even more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 08-20-12
    Doug 08-20-12
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    "My first of many Donna Leon novels."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dressed for Death to be better than the print version?

    NA. I didn't read the dead tree version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Paula Brunetti, for her solid grounding.


    What does David Colacci bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Italian pronunciation.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No answer


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Santa Ynez, CA, United States 11-19-14
    Melinda Santa Ynez, CA, United States 11-19-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Disappointed"

    I read 3/4 of the book and then deleted it. Took forever to get to the point and then it just didn't hold my interest. Loved the references in Venice but I don't see this author's draw.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Janetville, Ontario, Canada 05-03-14
    Lisa Janetville, Ontario, Canada 05-03-14

    Proud Canadian. Lakeside views. LOVE audio. Living with MS. Prefer male authors. J.K. fooled me aka Silkworm. Action, adventure, suspense!!

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    "Boring!!"

    I found the narration of this book to put me to sleep!! I was expecting the Italian version of French Canadian "Gamache" however, this was not to be and I did not finish this book as I forcing myself to continue to listen!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Hartnett Angara Virginia, USA 02-18-14
    Frances Hartnett Angara Virginia, USA 02-18-14
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    "Interesting mystery, great narration"
    What did you love best about Dressed for Death?

    The way the author conveyed the atmosphere of being in Venice in the hot, muggy, non-air conditioned summer. The heat is practically a character itself.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, the plot is good. The solution to the mystery was not readily apparent until revealed by the narrative. The intricacies of politics, corruption, and culture had an effect on the progress of the murder investigation, and I found that additional facet added interest.


    What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

    He is so good at voicing the different characters. None of his narration felt out of place or jarring, even when he voiced the females and the villains. The Italian accent he gave his characters helped convey the sense of place.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved by the compassion and respect detective Guido Bernelli displayed toward the murder victim and witnesses, and by his loving relationship with his wife and daughter.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first exposure to Donna Leon, whose novels were recommended by a friend. I would purchase another Donna Leon-David Colacci audiobook without hesitation. With her plotting skills and his great narration, I was hooked from beginning to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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