Death at La Fenice

Death at La Fenice

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Available in paperback for the first time, the first book in the internationally bestselling Guido Brunetti detective series in which a high society murder leads the detective

Beautiful and serene Venice is a city almost devoid of crime. But that is little comfort to Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor whose intermission refreshment comes one night with a little something extra in it--cyanide. For Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police and genius detective, finding a suspect isn't a problem; narrowing the large and unconventional group of enemies down to one is. As the suave and pithy Brunetti pieces together clues, a shocking picture of depravity and revenge emerges, leaving him torn between what is and what should be right--and questioning what the law can do, and what needs to be done.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c1992.
ISBN: 9780060740689
Characteristics: 263 p. ;,22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 02, 2019

Great read!

Sep 27, 2017

"Death At La Fenice" is the first book in the Commissario Brunetti series. The reader can already see evidence of the Donna Leon writing style: the emphasis on family, relationships, Venetian culture and Italian culture. IMHO, I would rate "Death At La Fenice" at 4.0 stars for a great first effort.

Apr 13, 2017

Streptomycin, among related antibiotics, is known to cause hearing loss, as a side effect.

Jul 20, 2016

A satisfying whodunnit, the novel exudes a wonderful sense of place, taking readers into the streets of Venice and providing a glimpse inside the opera scene, with all its scandals. I look forward to reading more of Commissario Brunetti!

Oct 05, 2014

I was actually able to predict the outcome of this story well before the end. However, the sordid reason behind the tale was a surprise. This series was recommended to me and has quite the following. Although I liked the story, I found it a little light and not terribly engrossing. However, I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the series, which I understand improves as it goes on.

Aug 17, 2014

I've read several as I could find them from the middle of this wonderful series, and decided to go back to the beginning, which is this book. Leon already has a back story for Commisario Brunetti of the Venetian police, his family, in-laws, co-workers and boss. Brunetti's character is here already, his cynicism about the endemic corruption in his beloved city; his love for the opera of La Fenice, an institution for locals, not tourists; and his love for his English professor wife and their two children. Leon sometimes makes us wait for the crime, but here, it comes at the beginning. The world's best conductor dies during the second intermission, clearly murdered by a method Brunetti's only read about but recognizes immediately. There are, unfortunately, too many suspects to satisfy Brunetti's boss, who wants this crime solved immediately, because it's bad for tourism. Knowing that the solution lies in who the conductor was as a person, Brunetti digs into his past and the people who knew him. A long Brunetti family dinner helps provide an important key to how he approaches the answer to the case. A delicious book. Leon's long series can be a tad uneven, but a second reading of the first book shows her at the top of her form.

Aug 22, 2012

Not a great book, but it is the first in a large series so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and read a few more. I really liked the italian/venetian references, since I'm familiar with both the language and the place.

shannon40 Aug 13, 2012

This first novel in the Guido Brunetti series shows that Donna Leon had a good grasp of her characters and setting right from the beginning.

Aug 09, 2011

As always the casual acceptance of endemic corruption serves as a background to the frustrations of the hero of the story. Another crime to solve for the charming Brunetti with all the fascinating political, geographical, family and cultural insights into modern day Italian life (and more specifically Venetian life) that Donna Leon weaves into her narratives

Aug 07, 2010

If you read only one Guido Brunetti mystery, this should be the one. Donna Leon's best.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top