Quietly in Their Sleep (Guido Brunetti Series #6)

( 13 )

Overview

In the increasingly popular realm of literary suspense, Donna Leon has created a standout series set in one of the world's most beautiful, romantic and historic cities: Venice. An American living and working in Venice for more than 20 years, Leon offers an insiders look at Italian society and vivid, detailed descriptions of Venice.

In Quietly In Their Sleep, a nun, Suorimmacolata, leaves her order and the nursing home it runs when she begins to suspect that some of the patients,...

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Quietly in Their Sleep (Guido Brunetti Series #6)

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Overview

In the increasingly popular realm of literary suspense, Donna Leon has created a standout series set in one of the world's most beautiful, romantic and historic cities: Venice. An American living and working in Venice for more than 20 years, Leon offers an insiders look at Italian society and vivid, detailed descriptions of Venice.

In Quietly In Their Sleep, a nun, Suorimmacolata, leaves her order and the nursing home it runs when she begins to suspect that some of the patients, those who have left their money to the home, are discreetly being murdered. Turning for help to Guido Brunetti, the suave, subtle and worldly-wise comissario of police, she unwittingly leads him into an investigation of both the closed world of the powerful, secretive church organization known as Opus Dei and the very public scandal caused by a local parish priest.

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Editorial Reviews

Time
No one knows the labyrinthine world of Venice ... like Leon's Brunetti.
Washington Post
One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever
Philadelphia Inquirer
Brunetti is the most humane sleuth since Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115939
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Series: Guido Brunetti Series , #6
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 190,674
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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 3.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great read by Donna Leon

    Leon weaves two plots within this mystery using the backdrop of the Catholic Church as the unifying pillar for both. The book deals in a visceral, brutally honest way with the corruption that has become all to common within the Church today and its impact on innocent peoples' lives. It is powerfully written and makes for compelling, page-turning reading. Some may find the plot(s) trite, however, given Leon's treatment of them, there is nothing I found to be weak about plot in this book. Again, it was a compelling read and she brings it all to two smashing climaxes. Brunetti wins again and one is glad to see him do so!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    A reviewer

    every catholic character was a pervert/pedophile/masochist or just supremely stupid. Opus Dei was made to be the same as the nazis. I put this book in my recycling bin instead of donating it when finished.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Absurd paranoia

    I was in the process of reading all of Leon's Brunetti mysteries in order until I reached Quietly in Their Sleep. While her writing isn't perfect, she seemed to me to strike the desired balance between the cozy and the depressing ultra-violence and depravity of most modern crime novels. But, mostly, I enjoyed her descriptions of Venice, which she makes the most memorable character of her series. In this sixth book, however, she has gone over the edge with her atheistic agenda. What I can only believe is her personal animus against the Catholic Church is voiced by every sympathetic recurring character and each priest portrayed goes beyond the mustache-twirling villain into pure evil. Vatican conspiracies abound. It is difficult for me to believe that the population of Italy, or even just Venice, is separated into upright atheists, power-hungry and sexually-deviant priests, and murderously insane religious fanatics. I found this book both laughable and offensive. And, by the way, Brunetti's wife is a pain. How easy to be a communist when one's parents are unbelievably rich and powerful aristocrats. They're also so convenient whenever Brunetti finds himself in a bind or needs help to achieve justice beyond the law. I'm done with Leon. I need a good dose of Father Brown.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Not one of the better ones

    Focuses on two parallel stories involving priests/religion. Just not as compelling as some of the firstbgew.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    not my favorite leon

    not my favorite, but any leon is better than none.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Great series!

    I can't wait to go to Venice.

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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