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Publisher's Summary

"Your situation is always ambiguous, isn't it, Guido?", his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, observes of Donna Leon's soulful detective, Guido Brunetti, at the beginning of her superb 28th Brunetti novel, Unto Us a Son Is Given. "The world we live in makes that necessary", Brunetti presciently replies. 

Count Falier was urging his Venetian son-in-law to investigate, and preferably intervene in, the seemingly innocent plan of the Count's best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodriguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under arcane Italian inheritance laws this man would then be heir to Gonzalo's entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo's friends find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man, a close family friend, can't be allowed his pleasure in peace. 

And yet, what seems innocent on the Venetian surface can cause tsunamis beneath. Gonzalo unexpectedly, and literally, drops dead on the street, and his good friend Berta Dodson, just arrived in Venice for the memorial service, is strangled in her hotel room - having earlier sent Gonzalo an email saying "We are the only ones who know you cannot do this", referring to the adoption. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo's life that ultimately led to murder - a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction. 

Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly plumbs the twists and turns of the human condition, reuniting us with some of crime fiction's most memorable and enduring characters.

©2019 Donna Leon (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Unto Us a Son Is Given

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Venice- a look into life in the ancient city.

I love all of Donna Leon’s books and I especially enjoy the audio preformed by David Colacci. I don’t know Italian so when it’s read to me I do not stress over the Italian words.

4 people found this helpful

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Donna Leon and David Colacci do it again!

Once again, Leon has written a wonderful mystery in Venice. This time Commissario Brunetti must discover who killed the best friend of his father-in-law’s best friend. Leon does an excellent job of stitching together what can be heavy (and sometimes boring) stories of love, friendship, class, history and Venetian-style nepotism with a perfect murder mystery. And Guido reads about the women of Troy in his beloved classics. Oh, and his boss needs his help!! It makes for an interesting piece of embroidery!
Fans of the Commissario will not be disappointed. New listeners will jump on the Leon bandwagon, especially after they hear David Colacci perform. His perfect accents and emotional, yet not over-acted, narration kept me listening straight through.

3 people found this helpful

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Keeps you guessing until the end!

Another masterpiece by Donna Leon. Very well written, thought out and funny at times! Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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Not up to Donna Leon's standard

The story never really got interesting. I didn't care about any of the characters. As usual David Colacci did a good job with the narration..

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Another Reason to Revel in Donna Leon’s Creativity

A compelling exploration of human motivation and choices that provoke our own revelations. May there be many more.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, predictable ending

The central characters were believable and the Venice setting made for an interesting backdrop to the story. There is a “mystery” but it was so predictable that I believe the author intended for the novel to be more about the central character (a detective), than about the “mystery.” I was a little disappointed, but this was my first time reading this author. The central character and the setting were interesting enough that I would listen to another in the series.

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One of her best

Donna Leon seems to get better with each book. David Colacci’s narration is always outstanding.

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Another Great Donna Leon book!

I love these characters, plots and reading performances! So enjoyable; deep and thoughtful, yet entertaining.

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Unto Us A Son Is Given

I have listened to many of Leon’s books read by Colacci. He is marvelous! A great story. I have listened to this book before

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More to come

This was my 1st Donna Leon book and it will not be my last one.