Guido Brunetti Books

Guido Brunetti is the leading character to an international best-seller series written by none other than the winner of the 2000 CWA Macallan Silver Dagger award, Donna Leon.

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Born and raised in New Jersey, Leon is currently residing in a Switzerland hamlet after moving from Venice where she has lived for an upward of 30 years.

Before foraying into writing fully, Leon was a literature lecturer at the University of Maryland in Italy (where she worked from 1981 to 1999). She would thereafter drop teaching to become a full time writer, churning out a number of best-sellers that would make her one of the world’s greatest writers at the time of writing this.

Her Commissario Brunetti novels form some of her greatest works, having earned her international recognition. Although the author only wrote the books in English, their popularity has pushed some of the books into being translated to foreign languages, with an exception to Italian at her request.

The entire series is centered on a police commissioner going by the name of Guido Brunetti, whose role is to confront crime in and around the crime stricken town of Venice.

Each case comes as an opportunity for Leon to unearth another sordid underside of the society if NOT another facet of the Venetian life.

Brunetti has to report to a vain, self-serving buffoon that is Vice Questore Patta. On the ground, he has Sergente Vianello and the well-connected Signorina Elettra, all of which work together to assist him with research.

Guido Brunetti Awards

The ninth book in the series, “Friends in High places”, happens to be one of the most successful books in the collection, having snugged the Crime Writers’ Association dagger award in 2000.

Guido Brunetti Books Turned Into Movies/TV

The series also boasts being adapted by a German television that created 22 episodes off it for broadcast.

Best Guido Brunetti Books

Friends In High Places: The ninth book in the series happens to be one of the most popular in the bunch. The book starts with Commissario Guido Brunetti being paid a visit by a youthful bureaucrat on a mission to investigate the reason that might have led to one of the buildings in his department failing to be officially approved earlier on in the year.

As with anyone, the first thing that comes to his mind is to try and think of someone whom he’s sure might pressurize the relevant government department. But after ringing at Guido’s office, totally scared, his body is later found dead from what appears like he was pushed off a scaffolding.

This comes as a dead giveaway that there’s something much bigger than the fate of the bureaucrat’s apartment behind the death, and the only person who can join the puzzle pieces together and find something tangible to apprehend the real culprits is none other than Guido himself.

Death at La Venice: Death at La Venice is the first book in the collection. Written in 1992, the book is set in the city of Venice, a beautiful city bereft of any kind of criminal activities. But that’s a little too comfortable for Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a well-known conductor whose end comes one night and with a shocking surprise.

For Guido, it’s always been his call, as a police vice commissario and acclaimed detective genius, to trace down every suspect and bring them to justice. Will he manage this time?

As he attempts to string together every piece of evidence presented to him, he’s hit by dreadful pictures of depravity and need for revenge that leaves him in a quandary—should he do what he deems necessary however unlawful it is or follow his guts and do what he knows is right?

He’s torn between doing what the law requires of him or what he thinks needs to be done.

Apart from the little crimes, Venice is also characterized by decay, magic and mystery. Not forgetting the occasional evils that often times threatens to piss on all the little effort the vice Commissario has been putting in to get the city where it is.

Guido has proven that he’s a genius, and one with admirable abilities that sends chills to every perpetrator of crime in Venice. He has a lot to prove to himself and to the denizens of Venice who apparently have strong faith in him and his ability to save the land from the looming danger.

Death at La Venice is one of the most favored books in the series. Replete with drama and shocking revelations, the book summons deep emotions within the reader that makes them empathize with the main character at every turn, as they try to rack their brains hard in an attempt to suss out the best plan of action for him, only for the author to prove he’s the master of the story.

OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE

To those who read Donna Leon’s book and are looking for other well-written and character driven almost similar police novels, here’s a list of books to try:

“The Didius Falco” series by Lindsay Davis is another good one. This series tells a detective story of M.Didius Falco, an iconoclastic young republican sent to rescue the niece of a senator. The book is set in the 70 A.D, in imperial Rome.