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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Commissario Brunetti investigates the murder of an illegal African street vendor. The story is set at Xmas time in Venice so we get a look into the local festivities and the local life during this period.

Once again, Brunetti is thrown into the middle of politics and corruption and intrigue. Despite the obstacles he faces in trying to solve this case, he does not give up that easily. He uses his contacts to finding the answers to the murder that no one seems to want solved. As always, we get to see Brunetti and his family and their interaction is once again, fantastic. We also see old characters we have come to know really well and some new characters are introduced that play a part in this case. Not one of the best in the series.

It was just okay! Jul 18, Ted rated it really liked it Shelves: beach-fun-fiction. The second fun-fiction read on recent 2 week vacation in MN. Pretty good addition to Leon's Brunetti series.

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I've only read a few, this probably the latest. I must have picked it up as a remainder a couple years ago. Brunetti is a likeable Venetian police investigator, good at his job, has a part-time professor wife, at this stage in his life a couple teen aged kids whom he doesn't understand near as well as his spouse does. The family provides sometimes connected story lines which puts the whole The second fun-fiction read on recent 2 week vacation in MN.

The family provides sometimes connected story lines which puts the whole series into more of a light mystery genre, certainly about as far as possible from the George Pelecanos hard, raw type common man's crime dramas as Nick's Trip, the book I read before this one. This particular story took unusual turns, and as it progressed took a tighter hold on me. I don't read "mysteries" much, and don't care much about trying to "solve" them as I read, I rather just let the story be told and enjoy it if it's enjoyable.

I was surprised at the way it turned out, many readers would probably label me simple-minded for that. So be it. Audiobook Donna Leon's books are more than just police procedurals books that take place in Venice. They always, in my experience, deal with an issue confronting Italy and there's always a sub-current of corruption.

In this book, she tackles the difficult subject of street peddlers, quasi-immigrants from Africa who buy knock-off bags cheap and then resell them to tourists. Two American tourists, both physicians, see an immigrant, ostensibly from Sierra Leone, assassinated in the square. The ca Audiobook Donna Leon's books are more than just police procedurals books that take place in Venice. The case, as you might suspect, revolves around the sale of "blood" diamonds.

The characters, now familiar after having read at least 10 in the series, are used by Leon as springboards to focus on an issue in addition to the ubiquitous Italian corruption. The Leon books will not please readers who prefer chases, gun shots, and action. If you like characterization, fine writing, and intriguing stories, I recommend this series highly. View all 5 comments. Feb 12, Madeline rated it it was ok Shelves: detective-fiction.


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The last Brunetti mystery I read Doctored Evidence left me feeling mostly cold - by then, I had read several of Leon's mysteries in rapid succession and was tired of her formula. But when I was in the library last week, browsing through the mystery section, I decided to revisit the Brunetti series. Even when the mysteries themselves aren't thrilling, I always enjoy reading about Leon's non-tourist view of Venice.

Another factor that made me choose this particular book which, apparently, comes The last Brunetti mystery I read Doctored Evidence left me feeling mostly cold - by then, I had read several of Leon's mysteries in rapid succession and was tired of her formula. When one of them is shot dead by professional killers in the middle of the street while selling his bags, Commissario Brunetti is on the case. I wanted to read this particular book because the world of the vu cumpra sounded like such a fascinating and unexplored subject for a mystery novel.

Brunetti and his colleagues know almost nothing about the men who live illegally in Venice, selling counterfeit bags and vanishing at the first sight of police. What, I wondered, would come to light about these men over the course of the investigation? I was excited to learn more about the lives of this overlooked community. And that's the first problem we run into. Throughout the story, the vu cumpra remain distinctly foreign, and their Otherness is remarked upon constantly.

There's a sense that Leon wanted to prove a point about unfair prejudices shown towards these men, but she's wildly inconsistent in this regard. Early on, there's a scene where Brunetti's daughter comments that her father shouldn't be wasting so much time on the murder investigation because the dead man is "only a vu cumpra. So that was fine, and I was glad that Leon was addressing the attitude towards the vendors, but at the same time there's this constant fetishization of the vu cumpra Brunetti is constantly marveling at how goddamn black they are, and another character, in what I'm sure was supposed to be a positive moment, gushes about how "beautiful" the men are and remarks like "they all look the same, don't they?

We never even learn anything about the inner world of the vu cumpra. Brunetti interviews the victim's colleagues one time, and they never get be heard from again. Also, notice how I keep referring to the dead man as "the victim"? That's because, for the duration of the page book, we never learn his name. I'm sure there was a reason for this - maybe Leon was trying to make a point about the anonymity of the men - but if you're trying to show often-overlooked and misunderstood characters in a new and sympathetic light, giving them names is a good start. It was disheartening to watch Brunetti investigate the murder and keep referring to the victim as "the black man.

It's the equivalent of "I'm not racist - see, I have a black friend! I could forgive all of this probably if the mystery was at all compelling, but it isn't. Over the course of the investigation, Brunetti discovers that the killing goes much higher than he could have ever imagined blood diamonds and the Mafia are involved, because why the fuck not and is quickly shut out of the case.

He keeps poking around, of course, but the problem is that he never even gets close to the truth, and is left to just be told how everything fit together later by another character. In fact, the eventual solution made no sense and was, ultimately, kind of stupid. It's disappointing, because I loved Death at La Fenice so much. Maybe I need to try looking up some earlier Brunetti mysteries - they seem to be getting worse as the series progresses.

Ah, Brunetti. There was much to enjoy in this installment fights over fettucine! Whenever Donna Leon finds a Message that she wants to impart, she does so without any pretense of subtlety whatsoever. It's hard to tell if this novel accurately represents racial tensions in Venice, represents a caricature of racial tensions in Venice, or represents Donna Leon's personal feeling Ah, Brunetti.

It's hard to tell if this novel accurately represents racial tensions in Venice, represents a caricature of racial tensions in Venice, or represents Donna Leon's personal feelings about racial tensions in Venice. Whichever it is, it's pretty unsatisfying, all the way up to view spoiler [the mystery's resolution that involves an elaborate government terrorist plot hide spoiler ]. Happily, I do not read these books for their plots. Here are some high points: - Endless tourist commentary, as usual, including the gem "They had to be Americans.

They wore white shoes and were very loud" - Paola and Brunetti buying vegetables for dinner while casually discussing a murder case - Patta trying to have a serious conversation with Brunetti, but first ensuring that his expensive coat label is sufficiently on display - Paola representing for Jane Austen "Everyone should have a set. If I thought you'd read them, I'd buy a set for you too" - Bocchese develops a personality in this book! Unlike any other author, Leon devotes 2 pages to the miniatures that he collects - Brunetti realizing, finally, that he loves Signorina Elettra and Vianello insert heart eyes gif here The food is sufficiently described, but I could have done with a couple more pages on the dinner that Paola has at Aunt Federica's, a scene in which Azir and Paola actually cook lamb together, and more afternoon wine breaks.

And of course, more Raffi please!! Is he still with the girlfriend downstairs? Inquiring minds need to know. View all 4 comments. Brunetti is by now a vehicle for the author to discuss aspects of corruption. Venice is a metaphor for Italy as a whole. We also see that Italy is part of Europe, and the rest of us around the EU will feel outraged at the casual and corrupt way in which undocumented African economic migrants are allowed into Italy illegally.

Standing in the cold selling knockoff bags in the street, the Senegalese men in this story are presumed by one and all to be acting for the mafia. The bags are made in the s Brunetti is by now a vehicle for the author to discuss aspects of corruption. The bags are made in the same factories as the real ones, just at night.

Italian fake bag sellers would be jailed but there is held to be little point in arresting these men; they are handed a letter telling them to leave Italy. They don't.

Can Rain Extract Blood from a Stone?

Their bags are confiscated and shredded, by the tens of thousands, but they are back next day with more, selling to tourists, untaxed. Then one day one of the Senegalese men is shot dead on the street. Now, from then on Brunetti does a lot of talking to respected figures, dodging his own boss and getting lectures from his wife, intruding on the migrants' less than cosy quarters and feeling the chill of the silent security services.

How can he solve a death that nobody wants solved? You may lose patience with the continuous removal of evidence and jurisdiction, but we get the feeling that the author has also lost patience, and has widened the horizons of the provincial policeman to show that the world is large, interconnected, and violent. I see that this was published in so I imagine today's migrant influx has only added to Italy's troubles. It's worth a read to gain a new perspective. If you have not read any Leon, you'll be astounded at the all-pervasive acceptance of corruption.

Jun 19, Luca marked it as did-not-finish. Yep, I'm giving up. They spend more time contemplating the political situation than the actual crime. This book is full of stupid stereotypes and almost everyone is racist without realising it View all 3 comments. Feb 22, Bill rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery-europe , police , indiv-challenges. Blood from a Stone is no exception.


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It contains the best features of all of the books I've read in the series, great food, a loving family, Brunetti's fantastic assistants and political intrigue. The basic story is the murder of an African refugee by unknown assailants while he sells fake purses along with other refugees in Venice. The murder is witnessed by a group of American tourists and they provide the initial information to Brunetti.

Brunetti and his capable assistant, Vianelli, begin to investigate this mysterious group and discover the dead man has a cache of diamonds. Brunetti's boss, Patta, tells him to cease his investigation and all of the files are taken by the Ministry of the Interior.

Can Rain Extract Blood from a Stone? | Office for Science and Society - McGill University

However, neither Brunetti and Vianelli, along with Patta's assistant, Signora Elettra a favorite character of mine follow the instructions but continue the investigation surreptitiously. Why did this man have the diamonds, what were they for, and why are the Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry involved. Brunetti and his team must tread carefully as they seem to be under threat from these mysterious government sources. It's a fascinating story with many sub-plots. As always there is the wonderful family dynamic. In this story, daughter Chiara surprises both Guido and his wife, Paola, when she talks about the murdered African and complaining about her father's lateness for dinner, saying ' Yes but it's only a vu cumpra Italian for the African refugees '.

Paola is shocked and this is an ongoing sub-theme in the story. The story is complex and rich, filled with fascinating characters. I can't say enough about this excellent series. If you try it, I'm sure you'll fall in love with Venice, the wonderful food and the great characters.. Oh, yes, and the mysteries themselves. Jul 26, Felicity Terry rated it really liked it. Coming highly recommended by several friends and fellow bloggers I found both of these 'Brunetti' books numbers 10 and 14 in the series to be everything they said they'd be And having seen the characters develop over these two books fully intend to read the other books in chronological order.

Crime capers set in exquisitely described Venice, I found both A Sea Of Troubles book 10 and, Blood From A Stone book 14 to be a bit more relaxed and less graphic, one could almost say Coming highly recommended by several friends and fellow bloggers I found both of these 'Brunetti' books numbers 10 and 14 in the series to be everything they said they'd be Crime capers set in exquisitely described Venice, I found both A Sea Of Troubles book 10 and, Blood From A Stone book 14 to be a bit more relaxed and less graphic, one could almost say more gentle, than the vast majority of other crime books on the market.

In my opinion Blood From A Stone was a better though in many ways more disturbing read. Though enjoyable from the point of view that many aspects of the story will be familiar to those of us lucky enough to have visited Venice, with an underlying theme of largely disliked immigrants and racism this did at times make for uncomfortable reading. Perhaps at times guilty of being a tad over-zealous in her desire to make us, the reader, more socially and environmentally aware, I can't help but wonder if Paola Brunetti's wife is in fact Donna Leon.

A long time since I read two books by the same author back to back, I recommend these two books as a great alternative to the positively gory crime thrillers I seem to have been reading of late. Aug 01, Eugene rated it really liked it Shelves: The standard Donna Leon fare, which is to say quite good. And we so agree with him. His colleagues, his family, and the people involved in the present crime s always come across as real The standard Donna Leon fare, which is to say quite good. Jun 05, Cooper rated it liked it. I've always enjoyed Ms. Leon's Brunetti series. I feel as if I'm in the middle of Venice, enjoying the foods, sounds, and people.

This one doesn't disappoint in that manner. This mystery was darker than other Brunetti mysteries I've read. The murder of a vu cumpra and the politics that come with investigating a murder no one seems to care about except for Brunetti seems incredibly relevant in today's political climate. The vu cumpra's are masters at being invisible during the day and disappeari I've always enjoyed Ms.

The vu cumpra's are masters at being invisible during the day and disappearing into the night when need be. When one is killed point blank, it seems implausible that he was targeted for any other reason than the fact that he's a vu cumpra. Uncovering the secret behind the man's identity was interesting. But I found the pace a little uneven and felt it could have been wrapped up a little quicker. As always, I do enjoy Ms. Leon's novels and will continue to read more in the series.

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Jan 22, Carolyn Fagan rated it really liked it. I think this may be my favorite Commissario Brunetti story yet. So many layers and all brought seamlessly together. I like that Leon never feels it necessary to tie everything up neatly. And of course as long as the story has enough of Paola, Raffi and Chiari and descriptions of their meals, I am happy! Jan 16, Ann McReynolds rated it it was amazing.

The continuing saga of G. Mar 17, Cheryl rated it liked it Shelves: italy. I really enjoyed this book, but the ending was so unsatisfying. Frustrating even. The message resonated with respect to the fact that immigrants are seen as "the other" or "less than," and given the way that resonates in Trump's America, I was hoping for an ending that vindicated the idea that all lives matter, even those of an undocumented black street vendor in Venice.

Alas, the ending was more realistic than idealistic. I enjoyed the time spent with Brunetti and company, including the lessons I really enjoyed this book, but the ending was so unsatisfying. I enjoyed the time spent with Brunetti and company, including the lessons from Paola and Chiara on teenage minds and Brunetti's own musings over the hidden pockets of intolerance in the supposedly more liberal youth.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Pucetti and Bocchese and was a little surprised about the occasional flash of intelligence in Patta. For any mystery series, a good mystery is important this had one , but a solid base of recurring characters is crucial -- and these characters are as solid as they come. The Brunetti series have a clear and much-loved formula and cast. Most of the chocolate box of characters makes an appearance. This episode has a slightly less two-dimensional Patta, sees the introduction of Foa the boatman, and Puchetti starts to get more walk-on appearances.

The normally unflappable, albeit introspection-prone, Brunetti has a few uncharacteristic dizzy spells and periods of distraction. The "mystery" in this volume is not at all deep and in danger of becoming peripheral to a so The Brunetti series have a clear and much-loved formula and cast.

The "mystery" in this volume is not at all deep and in danger of becoming peripheral to a sort of anthology of columnist's reflections on European attitudes to outsiders and post-colonialism, as well as corruption and the activities of secret services. From this perspective, the Brunetti novels show an interesting progression from quite sharp mysteries through social introspection in the period of this novel to virtual tourism in the most recent books. Because they span a period of over 25 years during which there has been profound social and technological change, there is also an interesting reflection of the impacts of technology and social issues of the day.

For example, Blood From a Stone implies an anonymity of pay phones and SIM cards that is less credible a decade later, and sees different attitudes to illegal immigration than those which are topical at present. Maybe Donna Leon novels could be a new subject for Paola's academic research! Overall, this novel is worth a read for fans of the series and those interested in contemporary social issues, but may not be so compelling for crime fiction aficionados.

This suited my mood. I wanted a light yet intelligent book that transported me to another, somewhat exotic place. Maybe a crime novel, but not bloody and grim, just intriguing. Donna Leon's Commisario Brunetti novels can fulfill this need, and this one, true to form, sufficed nicely. I've been there a couple times and wandered the streets for days on end.

So some of what was in this book was familiar, but Leon takes us behind the tourist sights to visit however brief This suited my mood. So some of what was in this book was familiar, but Leon takes us behind the tourist sights to visit however briefly with the inhabitants and police. A Senegalise [or perhaps Angolan] conterfeit bag seller has been shot on a Venetian street.

No one seems to know who he was or why he was killed. Even though this book was written around , it's discussion and concern with illegal immigrants escaping Are some of the them pawns of terrorists or opportunists? I don't want to give anything away other than to say this book involves racism, possible corruption, blood diamonds and governmental perfidy, all set among the lagoons and byways of La Serenissima and seen from the eyes of the clever detective, Commissario Brunetti.