A Writer’s Writer – Donna Leon

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One of my favorite mystery writers is Donna Leon, an American, who has written twenty-one books in a series set in Venice, Italy. The intelligent and capable police commissioner, Guido Brunetti, his family, and his home town of Venice have become some of my favorite characters/settings. I value highly my friendship with Brunetti.  Each case is an opportunity for the author to reveal another aspect of the seamy underside of society and another aspect of Venetian life. Brunetti serves the vain and self-serving Vice-Questore Patta, while Sergente (later Ispettore) Vianello and the all-knowing and well-connected Signorina Elettra, Patta’s secretary, assist Brunetti on the ground and through research.

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Besides a good mystery, food plays a big part in the day to day life of Brunetti. I highly recommend to you. Brunetti’s Cookbook. Recipes by Roberta Pianaro and Culinary Stories by Donna Leon.

My second read book of the new year is Beastly Things, (2012) Leon’s 21st mystery in the series. I haven’t read them all so I have some to look forward to. I always like to read a series in order as characters change and grow older, but it is not necessary, and I have not. However, the richness of knowing the history the characters share definitely enhances each story. I have provided you a link on Amazon with both of these books FYI.

Here is a short list starting with number #1 in the series. Enjoy!

#1 Death at La Fenice (1992)  #2 Death in a Strange Country (1993)  #3 The Anonymous Venetian (1994)  #4  A Venetian Reckoning (1995)  #5 Acqua Alta (1996)  #6 The Death of Faith (1997) #7 A Noble Radiance (1997)  #8 Fatal Remedies (1999)

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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5 Responses to A Writer’s Writer – Donna Leon

  1. johnvic8 says:

    Stepheny, when do you find time to read…and write? I can’t make that work.

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Stepheny. When I crawl out from under the books I am reading to review for Rosie Amber, I’ll give the books a look-see. Happy New Year!

  3. I love your relating that you have formed a relationship of friendship with a character in a series of books. It’s funny, isn’t it, how characters, if written well enough, CAN feel as if we have become as comfortable in their company as we might be with a flesh-and-blood person

    PS – re Venice, I have just finished a wonderful, Gothic Venice and Peru set book, Michelle Lovric The Book of Human Skin (review goes up Monday) though it might not be a Venice any of us immediately recognise as the book starts in the 1780s, and finishes in the 1820s

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