Friends in High Places (Guido Brunetti Series #9) [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Friends in High Places, Commissario Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat investigating the lack of official approval for the construction of Brunetti’s apartment years before. What began as a red tape headache ends in murder when the bureaucrat is later found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that will take him into the unfamiliar and dangerous areas of drug abuse and loan-sharking, and will reveal, once again, what a difference it makes ...
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Friends in High Places (Guido Brunetti Series #9)

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Overview

In Friends in High Places, Commissario Brunetti is visited by a young bureaucrat investigating the lack of official approval for the construction of Brunetti’s apartment years before. What began as a red tape headache ends in murder when the bureaucrat is later found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that will take him into the unfamiliar and dangerous areas of drug abuse and loan-sharking, and will reveal, once again, what a difference it makes in Venice to have friends in high places.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555849023
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/29/2009
  • Series: Guido Brunetti Series , #9
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digital Only
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 48,016
  • File size: 244 KB

Meet the Author

A New Yorker of Irish/Spanish descent, Donna Leon first went to Italy in 1965, returning regularly over the next decade or so while pursuing a career as an academic in the States and then later in Iran, China and finally Saudi Arabia. It was after a period in Saudi Arabia, which she found ‘damaging physically and spiritually’ that Donna decided to move to Venice, where she has now lived for over twenty years.

Her debut as a crime fiction writer began as a joke: talking in a dressing room in Venice’s opera-house La Fenice after a performance, Donna and a singer friend were vilifying a particular German conductor. From the thought ‘why don’t we kill him?’ and discussion of when, where and how, the idea for Death at La Fenice took shape, and was completed over the next four months.

Donna Leon is the crime reviewer for the London Sunday Times and is an opera expert. She has written the libretto for a comic opera, entitled Dona Gallina. Set in a chicken coop, and making use of existing baroque music, Donna Gallina was premiered in Innsbruck. Brigitte Fassbaender, one of the great mezzo-sopranos of our time, and now head of the Landestheater in Innsbruck, agreed to come out of retirement both to direct the opera and to play the part of the witch Azuneris (whose name combines the names of the two great Verdi villainesses Azucena and Amneris).

Biography

Donna Leon's love affair with Italy began in the mid-1960s when she visited for the first time. She returned frequently over the course of the next decade, while working as a teacher in such far-flung paces as Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran, and China. In the 1980s, the New Jersey native made the decision to move to Venice, where she still lives.

Leon's writing career began accidentally. One evening, following a performance at Venice's famous opera house, Teatro La Fenice, Leon and some friends were discussing a certain conductor they all heartily disliked. Someone jokingly suggested killing him off; and when the conversation turned to how, where, and why, suddenly the idea for a dandy murder mystery took shape in Leon's mind. Published in 1992, Death at La Fenice introduced Commissario Guido Brunetti, the melancholy Venetian policeman who would go on to star in a series of witty, intelligently plotted, and critically acclaimed detective novels.

Brunetti is, indeed, one of the most appealing characters in crime fiction, and one of the pleasures of the series is the revelation of new and surprising facets to his personality. Intellectual, introspective, and world weary, he is also happily married, totally committed to his job, and a lover of classical music, good food, and jokes. But, above all, Guido Brunetti is "Venetian to the bone" -- born into and shaped by a society filled with cultural contradictions. Through her detective's eyes, Leon illuminates the central paradox of Venice: Beneath the ravishing beauty and civilized veneer lurks a core of insidious and utterly pervasive corruption. Brunetti's cynicism stems from his inability to stem the tide -- although, bless his heart, he never stops trying.

Elegant writing, deft characterization, and lots of local color elevate the Brunetti novels above run-of-the-mill series, and Leon's reputation has grown with each installment. But although her books are international bestsellers, they have never been translated into Italian. The author explained why in an interview with National Public Radio: " I do not take any pleasure whatsoever in being a famous person. The tenor of my life would change if these books were translated into Italian, because I'm completely anonymous here." Anonymous in Venice, perhaps. Elsewhere, Donna Leon is a rock star!

Good To Know

An opera buff with a passion for baroque music, Leon has written the libretto for a comic opera entitled Dona Gallina.

For a few years, Leon reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Times.

In Germany, several of the Commissario Brunetti novels have been adapted into television mini-series.

A woman of strong opinions, Leon reads voraciously for topical issues to use in her novels. Among the serious matters she has written about are industrial pollution, human trafficking, illegal adoption, and corruption in the Catholic Church.

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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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Highly recommended - another wonderful Brunetti investigation

    Donna Leon is simply one of the best mystery writers I have had the pleasure to read. Her intelligence creates such unique insight into her characters. Even to call her a mystery writer diminishes her writing. I am a great reader of espionage and detective novels and have now completed all of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti novels. I know the strength, intellect and joy of his family. The respect and love between Guido and his wife, Paola, is unique and so refreshing.
    I can feel the climb of steps to his apartment --to his retreat with a loving wife and children--to aromas of excellent meals which I can almost smell and taste.
    But, when the actual existence of his apartment is threatened on an otherwise calm day, this novel's path turns into one of another of Venice's fascinating historical lessons. As in all of her books, corruption at the base levels of the Church, the government, the Mafia, the educational system is always present. Brunetti's relationships and dealings within the system of his Questura are wonderful. His continual management of his idiot superior, Patta, is delightful as always. Each mystery written by Leon is focused on dialogue and thought and she is excellent at both. Friends in High Places is yet another exposure to Venice's unusual characteristics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Love this series

    Always fun to trace lead character Guido Brunetti through the streets of Venice. Not a figure it out quickly mystery as it keeps you interested and wondering all the time what will be the outcome. Love finding odd bits about him and his family and the people he works with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2009

    Excellent

    Enjoyed the plot and the descriptions of Venice and the people. Learned much about corruptness of the political situation and the methods used by Guido to solve the crime(s).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    True to life

    As a mystery writer myself, I enjoyed the fact that there doesn't have to be a big blow 'em up, shoot 'em up finale. I have only recently discovered this series and really like all the characters. The writing is straightforward and feels "real."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Donna Leon never disappoints. Inspector Guido Brunetti and his team get better with every story. Am particularly delighted that she always includes his family life as well as the gritty Venice set.

    Have read every one of her Brunetti series and look forward to the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    I do not recommend this book.

    I suppose it was well written, but I did not really enjoy the story. I thought that it was rather boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Recommend

    Good quick read, likable characters.

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    Posted November 12, 2011

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    Posted September 5, 2009

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    Posted October 14, 2010

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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    Posted June 15, 2011

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    Posted August 6, 2013

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