Donna Leon

Give Unto Others
  • Give Unto Others

  • 'Crime writing of the highest order' Guardian
    Once again, Commissario Guido Brunetti is willing to bend police rules for an acquaintance, even though Elisabetta Foscarini, the woman who asks the favour, is not really a friend. But her mother was good to Brunetti's, so he feels he has no choice but to repay the debt and agrees to look into the matter 'privately', rather than as a police official.
    Her son-in-law has alarmed his wife by telling her they might be in danger because of something he's involved with. Because Enrico Fenzo is an accountant, Brunetti suspects that the likely reason must be the finances of one of his clients. Brunetti takes a look and finds little: one client is an optician, another Fenzo`s father-in-law, whom he helped establish a charity, another the owner of a restaurant.
    He is about to tell his friend that he can find no reason for preoccupation when her daughter's place of work is vandalised, forcing Brunetti to turn his attention - still 'private' - to Elisabetta's own family.
    What he discovers shows the Janus-faced nature of yet another Italian institution as well as the wobbly line that attempts to differentiate between the criminal and the non-criminal.

Donna Leon is author of the much-loved, best-selling series of novels featuring Commissario Brunetti and one of The Times' 50 Greatest Crime Writers. Widely considered one of the best detective series ever, with admirers including Ursula K. Le Guin and Antonia Fraser, the Brunetti Mysteries have won numerous awards around the world and been translated into thirty-five languages. After teaching English in Saudi Arabia, Iran and China Donna Leon moved to Venice in 1981, having fallen in love with the city, its food, culture and people. A fluent Italian speaker, she lived there for thirty years before moving to Switzerland, though she still spends around a week each month in the City of Bridges - she has said about Venice, 'Where else in the world is everything you look at beautiful?' Published when she was 49, the idea for Donna Leon's debut novel Death at La Fenice came about when she attended a rehearsal at Venice's Teatro La Fenice opera house. A friend muttered, 'I could kill the conductor', and the idea of the plot was born, along with the character of Guido Brunetti. Feverishly writing the manuscript in between shifts at her day job teaching military personnel at a nearby US Army barracks she left it in a desk for a year before being encouraged by a friend to submit it for the Suntory Mystery Fiction Grand Prize. Awarded the Prize, along with a two-book publishing contract, Donna Leon has written a new Brunetti mystery every year since. Published in her eightieth year, Give Unto Others is the thirty-first. 'The series that has shadowed Brunetti for three decades is an epic achievement - in its own way quite the equal of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time.' - The Times 'Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon, the expatriate American with the Venetian heart ... One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.' - Washington Post 'Leon started out with offhand, elegant excellence, and has simply kept it up.' - Guardian

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