Dressed for Death (Guido Brunetti Series #3)

( 23 )

Overview

Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti’s hopes of escaping the sweltering heat of Venice in August for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in a field in Marghera—a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. The victim appears to be a transsexual prostitute. Brunetti searches Venice—including the red-light district—for someone who can identify the corpse, but he is met with a wall of silence. Then he receives a phone call promising tantalizing ...

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Dressed for Death (Guido Brunetti Series #3)

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Overview

Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti’s hopes of escaping the sweltering heat of Venice in August for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in a field in Marghera—a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. The victim appears to be a transsexual prostitute. Brunetti searches Venice—including the red-light district—for someone who can identify the corpse, but he is met with a wall of silence. Then he receives a phone call promising tantalizing information, provided he meets with the caller under a bridge outside of town in the middle of the night. This dangerous rendezvous leads to more senseless murders, but despite the danger, Brunetti remains determined to uncover the truth. Dressed for Death, the third novel in this international best-selling series is classic Brunetti.

A body in the bank earns a different kind of interest. Respectable Venetians hardly notice the murder of a transvestite prostitue until the body is identified as the staid director of the Banca di Verona. While tongues wag over the scandal, only Guido Brunetti, the suave and sharp-eyed commisario of police, suspects foul play.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[One of] the real charms of this series [is] the endearing character of Brunetti and his compassionate insights into the heart of Venice and the soul of its people. Here is a man so decent that he reads the Annals for bracing blasts of Tacitus’ ‘fierce, uncompromising morality,’ but so unsanctimonious that he is perpetually on the lookout for ‘the ugliest Christ Child in Western art.’ Truly, a refreshing hero.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Despite the gruesome way in which this murder, and subsequent ones, take place, it's really a cheery, breezy mystery, filled with good humor and adventure. The ending can only leave the reader waiting avidly for the next time we meet Brunetti and his lively friends and cohorts.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Leon delivers her plot in an unassuming, graceful and beautifully paced prose that hides its measured elegance. This is procedural writing at its best, made more interesting still by the Venetian setting. The light comedy and family banter grounds the issues of social disintegration that are the real subject, as Leon takes advantage of her story to comment obliquely about AIDS, the unadmitted gay world that shadows Italian machismo, and the ways altruism and morality blanket greed and corruption.”—The Washington Post

“Richly evocative. . . .Venice takes on a deep noir tint in Leon’s latest well-crafted work.”—Publishers Weekly

“One of the most appealing of recent detectives, Brunetti stars in a case that brings out his canniness and his compassion—and shows his creator spreading her wings more powerfully than ever.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Venice is a perfect backdrop for a crime novel and there can rarely have been one so compulsively readable.”—Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti is a very human cop, quiet but sensitive; and her Venetian atmosphere is beguiling.”—The Times (UK)

From the Publisher

“[One of] the real charms of this series [is] the endearing character of Brunetti and his compassionate insights into the heart of Venice and the soul of its people. Here is a man so decent that he reads the Annals for bracing blasts of Tacitus’ ‘fierce, uncompromising morality,’ but so unsanctimonious that he is perpetually on the lookout for ‘the ugliest Christ Child in Western art.’ Truly, a refreshing hero.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Despite the gruesome way in which this murder, and subsequent ones, take place, it's really a cheery, breezy mystery, filled with good humor and adventure. The ending can only leave the reader waiting avidly for the next time we meet Brunetti and his lively friends and cohorts.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Leon delivers her plot in an unassuming, graceful and beautifully paced prose that hides its measured elegance. This is procedural writing at its best, made more interesting still by the Venetian setting. The light comedy and family banter grounds the issues of social disintegration that are the real subject, as Leon takes advantage of her story to comment obliquely about AIDS, the unadmitted gay world that shadows Italian machismo, and the ways altruism and morality blanket greed and corruption.”—The Washington Post

“Richly evocative. . . .Venice takes on a deep noir tint in Leon’s latest well-crafted work.”—Publishers Weekly

“One of the most appealing of recent detectives, Brunetti stars in a case that brings out his canniness and his compassion—and shows his creator spreading her wings more powerfully than ever.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Venice is a perfect backdrop for a crime novel and there can rarely have been one so compulsively readable.”—Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti is a very human cop, quiet but sensitive; and her Venetian atmosphere is beguiling.”—The Times (UK)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The third in Leon's richly evocative mysteries set in Venice and starring police Commissario Guido Brunetti reveals several flaws in Brunetti's character--some endearing, some disquieting, all intriguing. A man's body is found near a place popular with prostitutes. His legs and chest are shaved; his shoes are red, high-heeled and brand new. But what initially looks like the violent death of a transvestite whore may be a different sort of murder ineptly disguised: the victim is middle-aged, his body has been inexpertly shaved and his face is battered beyond recognition. In a tougher story than the previous Death at La Fenice, the Commissario's sensitivity is challenged by his dealings with demimonde creatures to whom he has not previously given much thought. A coincidence directs him, perhaps too easily, toward a villain who is soon covering tracks with more killing; lawyers, laundered money--and sodomy--also figure in the case's resolution. While struggling with his prejudices, Brunetti must hide his glee as the wife of his hated superior makes a highly visible departure into the arms of a famed pornographer. Venice takes on a deep noir tint in Leon's latest well-crafted work. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802146045
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Series: Guido Brunetti Series, #3
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 145,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Leon

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.
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    1. Hometown:
      Venice, Italy
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 28, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Montclair, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

4 Star

(8)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2005

    Same book as The Anonymous Venetian

    BEWARE: this is the same book that was published in the UK as The Anonymous Venetian. So if you're completing your Brunetti set take care not to end up with a duplicate. This sort of cross-Atlantic name changing merits a mention somewhere, I should think. That said, it is (of course) an excellent book, as are all of Donna Leon's Brunetti books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2001

    No Fancy Dress for this Thriller!

    It¿s not every daythat Venetians discover a body in and about one of its many canals, but when this particular body is found to be that of the director of a local, influential bank, eyebrows and curiosity are raised. And even more so when this body is presented as a transvestite prostitute! All Venice is agog and in an uproar! Donna Leon returns triumphantly in another of her brilliant Commissario Guido Brunetti episodes, and the reader is not left for one second in anything but gripping suspense. Leon, an American writer who is enjoying incredible success at writing police procedurals set in Italy, presents ¿the Pearl of the Adriatic¿ in more than all its glory. With Brunetti, she explores not only its grandeur but reveals the city¿s mud as well. Just as the body is not as it seems, Brunetti finds that there is even more deception to come. Two more bodies are found that are related to this case, and the author examines more than just police procedures here, as she seems to do in all of her novels. The various aspects of Venetian life are examined, the corruption of government officials, the criminal activities (covering a wide range of subjects from drugs to illecit sex trade), and, of course, the personal lives of her central characters. She has a great knack for character presentation that make them more than just ¿interesting and lovable¿! I have found few authors who do so with such dedication and thoroughness. Leon, who lives in Italy, certainly seems to know her subjects well, beginning with the first Brunetti novel, ¿Death at La Fenice.¿ None of her books should be missed, not simply because she has a glorious setting, or fantastic characters, or plots that are convincing, but simply because she is a good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

    A quick easy read -- Typical of the series

    Enjoyed the book. This is one of the early ones in the series. If you have read others, the lack of background on the characters will not be a problem, otherwise you really don't get a feel for the group dynamics or the individual characters in much depth. Storyline interesting. Man's body found in area frequented by prostitutes, disfigured and wearing dress and make-up. The search for motive and killer involves the male and female prostitutes working the area and the banking business where the deceased was a high-level employee. You get a feel for the probable culprit[s] by the middle, and the story then revolves around motive and will the guilty be caught and/or punished . . . With Bruno and the Italian justice system, you never really know until the end -- but worth reading to find out! The books are written as if the reader will have been to Venice and understand the layout of the city and the lingo. Having been there, this was not a problem, but I feel it would otherwise be confusing.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Thriller in Venice

    Another in the Guido Brunetti series, set in Venice and infused with atmosphere of the city and its residents, as much a part of the story as the mystery itself.

    Entertaining, leaves you wanting to read to the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    I am now hooked on this series and have started from book 1 - th

    I am now hooked on this series and have started from book 1 - the main characters are likeable and interesting. Haven't visited Venice but this series makes me want to visit - but not during tourist season.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    ANOTHER GREAT LEON NOVEL

    For a life long mystery reader Donna Leon is a gem. This is a page turner but with Leon you remember what you've read two novels after you've finished the book. Very satisfying style. She paints good pictures.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great Donna Leon book

    I love books (mysteries especially) that give you a great sense of place and when I started reading this book and saw that Commissario Brunetti would be working over in Marghera, I didn't have a good feeling because it seems whenever the author takes their protagonist out of their usual setting something gets lost but not here. This is another fine edition in the series. Police in Venice are just as diligent in their jobs as our American counterparts but they seem to do it with more style. Taking time off in the middle of the day to go home for lunch is just unheard of here but in Venice, it's the norm. Brunetti will find the responsible parties involved, but just don't rush him when he is enjoying a great meal with Paola and his children.

    Balance is the key in life - keeping a healthy balance between our professional and personal lives and Brunetti knows that lesson well. I love these books that Donna Leon has created and am impressed by her vast knowledge that she imparts in her books.

    You won't go wrong on any of her books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2005

    Perfect Donna Leon!!!

    This book is typical Donna Leon---well written, full of 'Venice information', and very engaging. You will definately NOT be disappointed!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 10, 2012

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    Posted November 13, 2011

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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