D Young

Phoenix, AZ, US
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  • Dead in Venice

  • Crime Grant Finalist
  • By: Fiona Leitch
  • Narrated by: Deryn Edwards
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Bella Tyson is a famous 40-something crime writer suffering from writer’s block ever since a bitter divorce two years before. When a fan offers her the use of an apartment in Venice, Bella jumps at it, hoping a change of scene will have her writing again. Once there, she soon meets Will, a charming Englishman, who shows her around the city. Enchanted by both Will and her new surroundings, Bella decides to write a supernatural murder mystery and begins researching local legends and the city’s more sinister side, including an illicit visit to the island of Poveglia, spooky former home of Venice’s asylum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Delicious Mystery from an Engaging New Author

  • By Michael Witt on 10-09-18

Venice, Vidi, Vici

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-14-18

"Dead in Venice" is a crime thriller that is equal parts page-turner, laugh-inducer and creepiness-creator. And as my commute audiobook, the damn thing kept me sitting in my driveway well after I had gotten home.

The story's fated couple, Bella and Will, are likable despite their flaws (or maybe because of them), and are just plain fun. Bella's internal - and often external - monologue hilariously illustrates the crazy range of the author's voice, while acting as the glue holding the story together. I knew this novel was my cup of tea when Bella (and in turn, the author) made an unashamed reference to another Venetian thriller "Don't Look Now."

The prose of the narrative was transportive, whisking the reader away to Venice's canals, landmarks and restaurants. The author's strong research is evident, as is her love for Venice, crime novels, food, sex, writing, and justice, but not necessarily in that order. The story itself is well-paced, and as labyrinthian and entertaining as the city's streets. Perhaps the real genius of the novel is the author's de novo creation of a set of Italian fairy tales, which adds just a touch of JK Rowling to the narrative.

"Dead in Venice" is a strong freshman effort, and deserves to be made available in print. I can only hope the author's sophomore one ("Dead in New York" perhaps?) is on its way to my library (also read by the talented Ms. Edwards, please). Well done, Ms. Leitch.