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By its Cover

A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Donna Leon’s critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has attracted readers the world over with the beauty of its setting, the humanity of its characters, and its fearlessness in exploring politics, morality, and contemporary Italian culture. In the pages of Leon’s novels, the beloved conversations of the Brunetti family have drawn on topics of art and literature, but books are at the heart of this novel in a way they never have been before.

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.

As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 03, 2014 – In bestseller Leon's elegant 23rd Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery (after 2013's The Golden Egg), a Venetian library director reports that several valuable old books have been either stolen or damaged. The likely thief and vandal masqueraded as an American professor, but he has vanished, and his credentials prove false. With few leads, Brunetti turns to a potential witness a library patron and former priest dubbed Tertullian (after the early Christian author) by the staff because he spends his days reading the church fathers' works. Before the police can interview him, the seemingly innocuous Tertullian is brutally murdered and Brunetti discovers some of the stolen volumes in his home. This character-driven novel looks at the ravages of rare book theft on libraries, and, more broadly, the destructive effects of contemporary greed exemplified by cruise ships damaging Venice's fragile waterways on cultural heritage. Leon's skillful evocation of the city's charms, culture, and history more than compensates for an abrupt ending that might leave some readers unsatisfied.

Customer Reviews

By It's Cover

This book is only mildly interesting. The characters were just ok; the plot meandered around and was filled with too much fluff...and even the location of Venice, one of the most culturally rich and enticing in the world, was boring! I hung in there to see "who done it", and I wish I hadn't. The ending was way too abrupt. I won't be reading her other books.

By Its Cover

Great read. Couldn't put it down. In keeping with the best of Donna Leon's Brunetti series. Too bad there can't be more new offerings. This was well worth the wait. RK

By it’s Cover

Crisp clean writing. Overall, a truly intelligent effort. Bravo!

By its Cover
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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Apr 01, 2014
  • Publisher: Grove Atlantic
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 237 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings