Donna Leon’s first five novels are: “Death at La Fenice” (1992), “Death in a Strange Country” (1993), “Dressed for Death” (1994), “Death and Judgment” (1996) and “Acqua Alta” (1996). Leon’s 25th novel “Falling in Love” was published in April 2015.
Set in Venice, Donna Leon’s series of crime novels features the fictional detective Commissario Guido Brunetti, commissioner of police and a talented and charming investigator. The first novel, “Death at La Fenice,” pits Brunetti against a depraved murderer after the death of world renowned conductor Maestro Helmut Wallauer, poisoned during a performance of “La Traviata.”
In Leon’s second novel, “Death in a Strange Country,” Brunetti investigates the death, doctored to look like a mugging, of a young American found floating in one of Venice’s famous canals. The third novel, “Dressed for Death,” opens with the discovery of a body so badly beaten that its face is obliterated, ruining Brunetti’s family holiday when the citizens of Venice stonewall him as he looks for someone who knows the victim.
A car crash on mountainous roads and the death of a prominent lawyer set the scene for “Death and Judgment,” the fourth Brunetti novel, in which the Commissario uncovers a conspiracy that reaches far beyond Venice. In “Acqua Alta,” Leon’s fifth novel, as Venice contends with seasonal flooding, Brunetti investigates the brutal beating of an old friend.