Dressed for Death (Guido Brunetti Series #3)

Dressed for Death (Guido Brunetti Series #3)

by Donna Leon


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802146045
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 03/25/2014
Series: Guido Brunetti Series , #3
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 57,431
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.


Venice, Italy

Date of Birth:

February 28, 1942

Place of Birth:

Montclair, New Jersey


B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

Table of Contents

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Dressed for Death (Guido Brunetti Series #3) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
cameling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An earlier one in the Commissario Brunetti series, we are introduced to smart and beautiful Elettra in this one. A body is found in a field behind a slaughterhouse, the person so violently beaten that there is no face to identify the person who later is found to be a transvestite. Without an identity and with just an artist's rendition of what the person might look like based on part of his facial structure and hair, Brunetti and team visit the red light districts of Venice to try their luck interviewing the prostitutes. The biggest challenge he has is finding a motive for the victim's murder and he takes us along with him on this puzzling journey as he interrogates, annoys and generally makes a few important people in the city nervous.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great episode of Commissario Guido Brunetti and his crew as they solve the murder of an alleged transvestite prostitute, and the criminal activities of a large non-profit involved in the murders. This is the 2nd of the series, and in this one we meet the Senorina Electra, Brunetti's secretary and admin assistant extraorinaire. More great scenes of Venice, and the surrounding area. More wonderful tempting descriptions of Italian eating , and a well developed plot with great characters.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another pleasant adventure with Commissario Guido Brunetti. A nearby town calls Brunetti in to investigate the corpse of what is apparently a transvestite found lying near the industrial district, a common hangout for the sex trade. I enjoyed this one even more than the last (Death in a Strange Country). The story felt more like a mystery, whereas the last one felt a bit more like a political treatise. This is not to say that Leon doesn't provide some commentary on social issues in this episode. In this one, she turns her attention to the condition of prostitutes, particularly male prostitutes, and transvestites in Italy. As usual, there is a fair degree of cynicism about Italian authorities and social conventions as Brunetti works to resolve the case in spite of them.Three books in and this series is still one I recommend¿they are getting better as they go.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Commissario Guido Brunetti's mysteries third installment exposes several imperfections in Brunetti's nature -- some charming, some perplexing, all fascinating.A man's body wearing a dress and new high-heeled shoes, beaten beyond recognition, is found in an area frequented by prostitutes. What initially is thought to be a transvestite's violent death, slowly evolves into a tale of intrigue involving lawyers, fraud, money laundering and transvestitism.Guido notices that the shaving of the body doesn't appear to be expertly done which leads him to question if the victim was truly a transvestite. His own sensitivities make the Commisario question his prejudices as his investigation treads through the world of the demimonde. At the same time as Guido is struggling with his own bigotries he has to deal with his private satisfaction as his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, copes with the departure of his wife in the arms of a well-known pornographer.Paola and the kids go off to vacation without Guido which necessitates the need for additional characters to interact with Guido so we are introduced to Signorina Elettra Zorzi, a new secretary/assistant. Supposedly the secretary to Patta, her abilities for computer hacking as well as contacts in the "outside" world bode a great future for this character.The social observations at the end where the victim's widow states that no matter that it was proven that her husband was not a transvestite, he will always be remembered for being found dead in dress, makes the reader stop to think of what else Brunetti's future will comment on in society.Again, a winner with Commisario Guido Brunetti.
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the third in the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The series just keeps getting better. In this book, the mystery is very well plotted, with plenty of twists and turns. Brunetti continues to be one of my favorite characters in mystery fiction - an incredibly smart detective with a gentle way of interacting with others. I am especially fascinated by his relationship with his wife Paola. Leon spoils her readers with beautifully written prose and weaves Venice into the novel like another character. Plot, character, writing, setting - Leon's books could serve as a how to guide for excellent mystery writing.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
3rd in the Commisario Brunetti series set in Venice.In a field in Mestre, a small city just to the west of Venice on the mainland, in a field used by the most desperate type of prostitutes, a worker in an abbatoir discovers the body of a middle-aged man dressed in a cheap red dress and red shoes. His face has been smashed in, making him virtually unidentifiable.Because it¿s August, and Mestre¿s Questura is understaffed due to holidays and other misfortunes, Patta decides to ¿lend¿ Brunetti to the Mestre force to investigate the crime. Not that there¿s much doubt in anyone¿s mind what happened--something ¿gone wrong¿ in a transaction by the most despised of prostitutes, transvestites. Brunetti, who was supposed to go on the family¿s annual vacation in the mountains, instead sees Paola, Chiara, and Raffi off at the train station, and returns to a hot, humid Venice--and Mestre--for this distasteful investigation. Before too long, Brunetti is less than convinced of the apparent motive for the murder; the investigation takes him further into the world of transvestite prostitution and those of the moneyed class in Venice who use their services.In most of her books, Leon uses some social issue as a background for her plots, illuminating the less than pleasant aspects of Italian life--in this case, transvestites and the attitudes felt by most Italians towards them, attitudes that in many cases are utterly hypocritical. She does a good job of this without ever becoming preachy, letting the characters speak for themselves and showcase the situation. While I don¿t think that Leon does as good a job on the same subject as Magdalen Nabb in her Marshal Guarnaccia series (The Marshall¿s Own Case), it¿s still a glimpse into that world.Because Paola and the teenagers are off on vacation, this book does not have their strong contributions to the series, but that is more than made up for by the introduction of one of Leon¿s great characters, the ineffable Signorina Elettra Zorzi. Nominally secretary to Patta, the pompous Vice Questore, Elettra in her debut appearance gives ample notice of the serene, sophisticated, highly talented computer hijacker role which she will expand in future books. The book is worth reading if just for the relish of her appearance. Patta plays an unusually large role in this book in a surprising way. We¿re getting used to some of the more minor ones now, such as Sgt. Vianelli and his always off-stage wife Nadia who has found a second career as amateur investigator; all the minor characters lend strength to the series.All in all, an excellent story, with the usual good plotting, fine writing, and strong characters. Highly recommended.
sjmccreary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 3rd book in the excellent Commissario Guido Brunetti series set in Venice, Italy, this book opens with the discovery of the body of a prominent local banker dressed in a red dress and red high-heeled women's shoes and dumped in a field in an area frequented by prostitutes. Brunetti's investigation forces him to look closely into the normally hidden world of homosexual prostitution, transvestites, and men who like boys. A world that seems to populated by several prominent, and married, men. Add to this a possible scandal involving a well-known but little understood charity, and stifling summer heat that has Brunetti's family taking refuge in the cool mountains while he is forced to cancel his vacation and stay behind in the city. The result is a fast-paced and intense investigation where the bodies seem to be piling up faster than the clues.
Talbin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Dressed for Death, third in Donna Leon's Brunetti series, Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates the murder of a man, found in a field, dressed in a red dress with red stiletto heels. The man had been beaten, his face crushed beyond recognition. At first, everyone - including Brunetti - assumes that the man was probably a transvestite prostitute, and the killing because something has gone wrong in an fairly commonplace - but distasteful - transaction. However, as Brunetti digs deeper, he discovers connections with some well-placed people in Venice society, people trying to cover up both their potentially scandalous activities and the ever-present corruption that seems to thread its way through Italian society.Once again, Leon has woven a tale that combines a good mystery with a bit of social commentary. Here the commentary is about prejudices against transvestites and homosexuals. Brunetti finds himself confronting his own biases toward both groups. In a subplot, Vice-Questore Patta (Brunetti's self-absorbed and politically inclined boss), finds that his wife has run away with Italy's master of porn. Throughout the book, Leon is gently prodding her readers to think about various issues of sex, scandal and gossip.Another good installment in the Brunetti series.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The mystery in this was interesting, but none of the characters stand out. Brunetti's family was out of town for the story, and gone with them some of the charm of this series. However the Venetian setting was wonderfully described.
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