Willful Behaviour (Guido Brunetti Series #11)

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Overview


Mystery lovers everywhere are addicted to Donna Leon's ever–honorable Commissario Guido Brunetti and her portrayal of Venice's beautiful but sinister byways and canals. In Willful Behavior, Brunetti is approached for a favor by one of his wife's students. Intelligent and serious, Claudia Leonardo asks for his help in obtaining a pardon for a crime once committed by her now–dead grandfather. Brunetti thinks little of it—until Claudia is found dead. Soon, another corpse and an extraordinary art collection lead ...
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Willful Behaviour (Guido Brunetti Series #11)

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Overview


Mystery lovers everywhere are addicted to Donna Leon's ever–honorable Commissario Guido Brunetti and her portrayal of Venice's beautiful but sinister byways and canals. In Willful Behavior, Brunetti is approached for a favor by one of his wife's students. Intelligent and serious, Claudia Leonardo asks for his help in obtaining a pardon for a crime once committed by her now–dead grandfather. Brunetti thinks little of it—until Claudia is found dead. Soon, another corpse and an extraordinary art collection lead Brunetti to long–buried secrets of Nazi collaboration and the exploitation of Italian Jews—secrets few in Italy want revealed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620641873
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Series: Guido Brunetti Series , #11
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Donna Leon has lived in Venice for over twenty–five years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed.

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
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favourite in the series

    Book11, in the Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery Series

    This novel was originally published in 2002, I knew I had missed it while I read my way through the series so when it was reprinted in 2010; I seized the opportunity to catch up. Ms. Leon's earlier novels are thoughtful and satisfying in many ways and this one shines, it is a powerful murder investigation that has Brunetti uncovering dark secrets that date back as far as WW11.

    Claudia, a student of Paola, Brunetti's wife, asks for help in obtaining a pardon for a crime committed years ago by her now dead grandfather. He is intrigued by this unusual young lady's request but made little of it until she is found stabbed to death in her apartment.

    When Brunetti breaks the devastating news to Signora Jacobs, an old Austrian lady and Claudia's only close friend, he discovers an extraordinary art collection in her modest apartment. Brunetti always the investigator is intrigued and soon learns she was once Claudia's grandfather's lover. Could the stunning art collection have come from desperate people selling their prize possessions during the war and be the reason behind the grandfather's imprisonment....

    When Signora Jacobs is also found murdered, Brunetti launches an investigation that will uncover shocking secrets. He discovers evidence hidden deep in the closets of Nazi Collaborators that ultimately reveals the exploitation of Italian Jews during the war......

    This is an excellent example of a classic detective murder tale, a thought provoking story that highlights and exposes the way of doing business in a corrupt world. The first few chapters set the scenes really well while at the same time setting a sub-story which has Brunetti struggling to help a friend obtain a construction permit without paying the customary bribe. The characters are memorable, the plot is intricate and multi-dimensional, and the narration is fluid, it subtly and slowly draws the readers into a compelling and atmospheric tale that is interspersed with domestic interludes. Ms. Leon loves to show the personal side of Italian life through food and family interaction, an asset to any story when not overdone.

    This is one of my favourite novels in this series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Murder meets philosophy

    Drawing on Plato and Henry James this Burnetti mystery is the best one ofLeon's first 11.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL BOOKS

    THESE BOOKS ARE WONDERFUL. !!! AFTER TRYING THE FIRST ONE, I WAS HOOKED----BIG - TIME !!! I'M NOW, WORKING MY WAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE SERIES. IF YOU LIKE ANYTHING ABOUT ITALY, EVEN A LITTLE, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE THIS SERIES.I HOPE THE SERIES WILL NEVER END.FANTASTIC STORIES. TRULY GREAT READS.

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