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Publisher's Summary

On a rainy morning, not long after the funeral of his mother, Commissario Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello respond to a 911 call reporting a body floating near the steps in one of Venice's side canals. Reaching down to pull it out, Brunetti's wrist is caught by the silkiness of golden hair, and he sees a small foot - together he and Vianello lift a dead girl from the water. But, inconceivably, no one has reported a missing child, nor the theft of the gold jewelry that she carries.

So Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death but also for her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children - be they innocent or guilty. The investigation takes Brunetti from the canals and palazzos of Venice to a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, through quicksands of connections and relationships both known and concealed, as he struggles with both institutional prejudice and entrenched criminality to try to unravel the fate of the dead child.

Death in Venice: investigate more of Guido Brunetti's cases.
©2008 Donna Leon and Diogenes Verlag AG Zurich; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Alexis
  • Richmond, CA, USA
  • 07-01-08

Slow Started Really Pulls You In

Though slow to start, if you give this novel a chance, you will be drawn in very deeply. The characterizations are strong, the characters fascinating in an intellectually satisfying sense. These are not cardboard people walking around a famous city. They are warm, wry and wonderful. If you like psychological mysteries and can live without action in every paragraph, you will love this. Haunting and memorable. My first Brunetti mystery, not my last.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Lacking Pizzaz!

I was hoping for a mystery that would bring the romance and mystery of Venice to life. Instead the book was slow and could have been in any city. It was all right, but I wouldn't highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book, not a good match with the narrator

I've read a lot of Donna Leon but this is the first one I've listened to. For me, the narrator completely missed the characterization of Brunetti and missed on the Italian accent. I found it distracting. Great story, not so great a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really good story, quite tragic though.

Especially good story with the tragic death of a child, made more tragic by the lack of justice for an unsympathetic, yet not undeserving, surviving family group.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not so great

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story should have been simpler to follow. Just too much extra information in it.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Robin Cook's latest.

What aspect of David Colacci’s performance would you have changed?

His narration is very good.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Girl of His Dreams?

The end.

  • Overall

Not as Good as past endeavors

This book seemed a bit contrived, almost like 'well it's time for a new book but don't really have anything to write about'. There were two plots going on and the writing just wasn't as smooth. Just don't know what the problem was but this book didn't keep me engrossed at all. Maybe it's time to retire Inspector Brunetti.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Salt Lake City, UT United States
  • 06-02-08

Like an evening with old friends.

The "mystery" here is not "the point". For Donna Leon fans its as wonderful as always.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful