Earthly Remains

Narrated by: David Colacci
Series: Guido Brunetti, Book 26
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (409 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Earthly Remains

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointing for author Leon

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

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of my favorite series

Donna Leon comes through again. I love hearing Guido Brunetti with an accent. I never tire of this series.

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Earthly Remains

This book is so good! I always like when stories have a detective that goes away on a mini vacation and someone goes missing or they need their detective skills to help solve a case.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.