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Publisher's Summary

Donna Leon's best-selling mystery novels set in Venice have won a multitude of fans for their insider's portrayal of La Serenissima. From family meals to coffee bars, and from vaporetto rides to the homes and apartments of Venetians, the details and rhythms of everyday life are an integral part of this beloved series. But so are the suffocating corruption, the never-ending influx of tourists, and crimes big and small. Through it all, Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti has been an enduring figure. A good man who loves his family and his city, Brunetti is relentless in his pursuit of truth and some measure of justice.

In Earthly Remains, the 26th novel in this series, Brunetti's endurance is tested more than ever before. During an interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the fallout, he realizes that he needs a break, needs to get away from the stifling problems of his work.

When Brunetti is granted leave from the Questura, his wife, Paola, ships him off to a villa owned by a wealthy relative on Sant'Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny's Natural History. The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house on Sant'Erasmo, goes missing following a sudden storm. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his leave of absence and understand what happened to the man who had become his friend.

Earthly Remains is quintessential Donna Leon, a powerful addition to this enduring series.

©2017 Donna Leon and Diogenes Verlag (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    173
  • 4 Stars
    91
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    203
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 01-31-18

Hmm... Had To Change 4-Stars Ultimately To 3...

3-Stars ain't bad, though. It just means that it was a fairly okay listen. At first I thought, because I liked Guido so much, 4-Stars would cover it.
Then I got to thinking: Not much at all happens in the book... In over 10 hours... Sure, there's plenty of Guido, his thoughts, feelings, frustrations. But basically, most of the book is of him rowing and, oh yes! He and everybody else repeatedly sweat their brains out because the book tells us, over and over and over, how hot it is. And, oh yes again--his wife sneaked some sunscreen into his suitcase. This we know because the book tells us EXACTLY what he packed.
There's not much in the way of police procedural: one autopsy, some talking to people, but no suspects, and certainly no resolution. I got the feeling Donna Leon was bucking for a sequel, especially since in Earthly Remains our victim is just so darned likable.
And was it just me, or did David Colacci's Italian accent come off sounding like Dracula every now and again? For the most part, I appreciated that the narrative was American with the dialogue in decent Italian, but oy, those slips were a tad jarring.
So a decent listen with a great Guido, a likable Davide, and a few enticing clues thrown in along the way, just there for form's sake. Because really, there is nothing until the final minutes of the book where you just scratch your head and wonder if it's all good enough for the next D. Leon book.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As always, and evocative and involving story of venetian outliers

Reading or listening to a Donna Leon novel always makes me feel like I've just spent some time in Italy. Her pacing is as eloquent as her prose. Relaxed and passionate at the same time. Beauty and decay side by side, luxury, leisure, and corruption always lurking in the background. I'm not sure how she does it but this is another winner.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Bowie, MD, United States
  • 04-10-17

Dona Leon Has Done It Again

Dona Leon knows how to grab the reader and never let go. This story is a bit different than the first 25 Brunetti novels in that he is more on his own in this one. He has an episode in his office which results in him taking some quiet time to destress. He goes to a villa owned by Paola's family where he becomes friendly with the caretaker who it turns out knew Brunetti's father. The caretaker and Brunetti become friendly and row every day. The caretaker tells Brunetti that he has things to do over the weekend and he will see him on Monday. Monday comes around and there is no caretaker. His daughter is worried and they start looking for him. They eventually find him drowned. This starts an investigation. Did he commit suicide? Was it an accident? Was it murder? Read this gripping story and find out. These books are so well written that you will not want to read other novels but you must since a new Brunetti novel is an annual event.
David Colacci is the narrator and he is the voice of Brunetti. Love this author and this narrator.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing for author Leon

Convoluted plot revealed in long tedious conversations, with a non- ending, unsatisfying conclusion. Not up to usual standards.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

One of the ten most boring books

I've been reading this series faithfully for years, but this book is simply awful. Listening to paint dry would be more exciting. Guido gets bored rowing and wants to go home and so do we! Don't waste your credit.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow But Lots Revealed About Guido's Past

I listen to everything in this series so I am not only a big fan, but feel like I know Guido. The flaw is as others have said, it was slow. Nothing in this series is fast, but this was really slow.

What saved it for me was that this was a very different situation. Guido was out of his element, away from his family and his normal environs. Plus he revealed much of his life story, talking about both his father and mother, and his history of rowing as a sport.

Actual "mystery" concerned corruption (in Italy, whoever who have guessed!) in toxic waste disposal and Leon took about 2/3 of the book before getting to that. And whether a death was a suicide or murder which wasn't much of a mystery either.

But if you love Guido, and want to know more about him and see him in a different setting with different people (and I do), then this is worth the slow slog.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed but didn't love

The book was slow to start. It didn't have enough suspense for my taste but a good book all in all.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 05-14-17

Not her best

Kind of slow. Story a bit thin. Seemed to take forever to end. Characters fine. Looking forward to the next and hoping for the best.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Was this book a joke?

What would have made Earthly Remains better?

If I never bought it.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything but this book.

Which character – as performed by David Colacci – was your favorite?

His voice as Brunelli was excellent. Can't blame the messenger for the message.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

It would be a shame to rate the narrator of this book on the quality of material. Truthfully, his accent is the only thing that kept me waiting for something to actually happen. I love audible booksI love being able to listen to a good book and not noise on my trips from my home to my granddaughter in NYC, and, from my home to my home in the Hamptons. It makes the time go faster and the trip very enjoyable. Many times my husband is with me in the car and I catch him up with what's happening, and we listen together. With Earthly Remains, he'd say to me...so...and I'd say to him...damned if I know. I know he's wearing sneakers, he tied them for two minutes, I know what he had for breakfast, what's in the refrigerator, the color of his bedspread, but other than that...damned if I know. Loving Italy and especially Venice, Burano and Murano, I was sure I'd enjoy the book, but, as a literature major, I can safely say I have NEVER listened to a slower moving, more boring work than this piece of flotsam. On our last trip to the city, I got angry at my husband because he was mimicking the narrator, not so much as he was correct in his mimicry to describe something ad nauseam, but because he did it in an English accent! He's Italian, you putz, I exclaimed! We both laughedddddd! So..boring, slow moving, overly verbose...I waited faithfully for something to happen. At the last sentence, I rewound the end to see what I missed, checked my device for a problem. Must have been something! After 17 hours of listening to this dribble...it has to have a good ending...nawps. It just died, ending like a jellyfish washed up on the shore...no substance...just garbage. Run, don't walk away from this heap of sewage.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • San Antonio, TX
  • 04-25-17

Disappointing ending

The narration was great - like all of the others in this series narrated by David Colacci. The always interesting information about Venetian culture was there. The metaphorical descriptions of people and thought processes were as good as usual. But the ending was either a setup for a sequel or was simply incomplete. This aspect was unlike the first 25 books in this great series.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful