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List of Donna Leon books (in order)

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In yesterday's comments, Sandra said that she had inadvertently bought one of the Donna Leon mysteries twice because it was republished with a different title. The same thing happened to me - I bought what I thought was a new one in Venice and then realized I already had it back home. It took me a while to track all these books down because some were out of print for a while, in the US anyway, but I did manage to find and read them all (though not in order).

I work with a bunch of readers (and mystery readers in particular), and we are always passing books around the office. Everyone loves this series, even the people who've never been to Venice. And if you're a Venice lover, these are essenziale.

So here's the list with duplicate titles in parentheses.

Donna Leon "Commissario Guido Brunetti" series
(chronological order 1992-2014)

Death at La Fenice

Death in a Strange Country

Dressed for Death (The Anonymous Venetian)

Death and Judgment (A Venetian Reckoning)

Acqua Alta

Quietly in Their Sleep (A Death of Faith)

A Noble Radiance

Fatal Remedies

Friends in High Places

A Sea of Troubles

Wilful Behaviour

Uniform Justice

Doctored Evidence

Blood From a Stone

Through a Glass, Darkly

Suffer the Little Children

The Girl of His Dreams

About Face (April 2009)

A Question of Belief (April 2010)

Drawing Conclusions (Spring 2011)

Beastly Things (April 17, 2012)

The Golden Egg (April 2013)

By Its Cover (April 2014)

UPDATE:

Found this website which mentions another book: "Brunetti's Venice: Walks Through the Novels" which sounds very cool (written by a friend of Donna Leon's).

"...a series of walks through Venice and featuring atmospheric extracts from relevant parts of the novels..."

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Comments (53)

I really need to start reading her books. I have heard a lot about them and don't really know why I have not picked one up yet. Thanks for the list!

sandrac:

Excellent list, Annie! I realize that I don't have Willful Behaviour OR The Girl of His Dreams. I've fallen behind, badly! (I really like Donna Leon's mysteries.)

I think my favourite may have been the first one (at least, I think it was the first one) Death at La Fenice! Followed by Acqua Alta (I liked the characters that appeared in both novels and the way Brunetti became involved with them.)

Essential reading!

Girasoli, if you want to borrow one to get started, let me know and I'll pop it in the mail.

Brenda:

Woo-hoo!
I've read them all!
Ohhhhhh, that's not necessarily a good thing. Now I have no Donna Leon book to look forward to...:-(

Thanks so much for posting this list!

My favorite book of all is the one about the men from the Sudan who are brought to Venice illegally, then forced to sell their quota of sunglasses and fake Gucci purses. I was so shocked to read of the inhumane treatment of these guys who are only looking for a way to make a living for them and their starving families back home in Sudan.

They are basically prostituted ...their 'pimp', for want of a better word, treats them so badly, they live in such poor accommodations and there's no one for them to turn to for support and help.
What the heck is the title of this book? Arghhhhh! Another Brenda brain fart...
Ciao,
Brenda

Sandra, that is so sweet of you. I will check my library first, but if their limited selection does not include Donna Leon, I might take you up on your offer :)

Annie, guess what I got on the mail today (well actually yesterday but I was too tired to open up my mail last night when I got home)...my huge Obama magnetic button. Even though the election is over, I put it on my refrigerator :)

Girasoli, I think you'd love her books. And about the magnet, was it the one with "Nov. 4" real big and then "Vote Obama/Biden" smaller? I got one of those about a week ago and it's on my fridge too (I had it on the car until after the election and then I moved it inside).

Sandra, I liked those characters too. I'm blanking on the names but it was the Opera Singer and the Archeologist, I think. I wonder if they will come back in a future book?

Brenda, I loved that one too! I think it was "Blood from a Stone" maybe? When I'm in Venice, I look at those handbag vendors with a lot more compassion since I read that book.

And I hope that we will have a new book to read in Spring '09!

Okay, I just updated my post after I googled and found info about the next book (April 2009)! That Brunetti walking tour book sounds very cool.

Sandra, we might have to do a Brunetti walk during the great Slow Trav GTG!

sandrac:

Annie, I agree -- the Brunetti walking tour at the GTG next year is a must! Along with your (patented) Churches in Venice tour. And maybe the Venice Ghost Walk (which was not as ghostly as I had hoped but maybe we can jazz it up a bit!)

It WAS the opera singer and the archeologist in Death at La Fenice and Acqua Alta. It would be fun if reappeared again, I like recurring characters in novels.

It's good to hear she has another mystery coming up for spring -- sounds like I have some serious mystery-novel catching up to do!

Sandra, I like recurring characters too. One of the very best is Signorina Elettra! Every book leaves me wanting to know more about her.

And yes, I'm up for a Ghost Walk and will put some thought into my (patented) Churches tour when I'm there next month!

I just checked the online library site and they have quite a few of her books. Is it important to read them in order?

My magnet is different. It has the Obama symbol (the sun coming up with blue/red) and then underneath OBAMA and under that in a slightly smaller font BIDEN and then at the very bottom www.barackobama.com

I think it is a car magnet but I wasn't sure how you were supposed to stick it since (where the metal is in the car to stick it to?) but since the election is over, my fridge works well.

Tracy:

Thank you for the list--since I accidentally came across one of the classic Guido Brunetti mysteries, (Death & Judgement) my aim has become to read the whole list, in order--a great series--in the class of Marsh, Sayers, Christie, PD James et al. I have noticed how great literary use is made of phrases from the Bible, always a good move promising of depth...and Leon does not dissapoint...

Hi Tracy, thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment! It really is such a great series and I'd like to go back sometime and re-read them in order. You are right about their depth, and I also like the fact that they don't get sewn up tightly and don't always have happy endings.
And speaking of Dorothy Sayers, "Gaudy Nights" is one of my all-time favorites!

Dom :

I bought a copy of Death at La Fenice in book store Venice. (I had run out of things to read on a very delayed flight to Malpensa). I was immediately hooked and finished it sipping a Belini in Harry's Bar. I, naturally, went looking for La Fenice but it had burned down - how sad. I, however, have not read them in order and it doesn't seem to affect my enjoyment. If you love Italian mysteries, check out Michael Dibdin's A.Zen series.

Hi Dom, thanks for your comments. How wonderful to read that book in Harry's Bar! La Fenice is rebuilt and reopened now; I toured it last year and it's gorgeous. I've read one of the Dibdin books (the one set in Venice; I'm blanking on the title right now) and need to read more of them.

The name of the Dibdin book is DEAD LAGOON. His Aurelio Zen novels are great but unlike Leon's which are all set in Venice, Dibdin's are in different Italian cities so you get a nice tour. DEAD LAGOON is set in Venice which is where Zen is supposed to have been born.

Hi I., thanks for the title! "Dead Lagoon" it is. I enjoyed that book a lot.

Carmen Johnson:

I first met Brunetti in 2007 when I had the pleasure of being in Venice for a few days. I found a copy of Aqua Alta in a cupboard of the apartment we were staying in. I took the book with me to finish, but left a book in its place. My friends were horrified that I had taken something that did not belong to me. I was myself, but the story got me in and I had to finish it.
Last year I found myself blessed with another visit to Venice, so I brought the book back and although We didn't stay in the same place, I did leave it on the coffee table for someone else to enjoy. This novel started my passion for reading Donna Leon's books. I absolutely adore Venice, and the constant references to the places Guido goes to makes me feel I'm in the story with him. I've come to love him and his family and cohorts especially Elettra.
Thank you for allowing me to share my passion for Venice and Donna's books.
I have purchased all titles and am going through them in chronological order. I've bought Brunetti's Venice for my husband's birthday. What a shame there are no colour prints, just small maps.

Hi Carmen, thanks so much for your comments. Elettra is my favorite character too and Donna Leon does such a great job of keeping an intriguing air of mystery around her!

I'm actually re-reading one of the older books right now. When I finished "About Face," I didn't want to leave that world so I've gone back to one of the earlier books.

Oh, and I wouldn't worry about taking that book from the apartment - I think lots of travelers leave books behind for the next people who come along. I do it all the time.

Carol Reynolds:

I too started reading the books after a trip to Venice, and I am in the middle of "About Face". I'm wondering about "Wilful Behaviour. What is it about? - I don't think I've read that one - hope not as it would be another great adventure for this summer.

Hi Carol, funny you ask since I'm re-reading that one right now! A young girl named Claudia (one of Paola's students) contacts Brunetti about getting a pardon for a dead man who was convicted of crimes concerning art theft during WWII. I'm enjoying it the second time around!

Leslie :

I am a long-time fan, but had not checked for recent titles in some time. I found About Face, and then later picked up Girl of His Dreams; both are wonderful additions and reminded me about why I had waited anxiously for new titles some years ago. I have decided to re-read the books, so appreciate the chronological list you published (which is how I found your blog - doing a Google search on Donna Leon books). Although I love the convoluted plots, I especially enjoy the character development and watching Brunetti's growth in his marriage and in the workplace. He somehow mixes traditional Italian male attitudes with bursts of sensitivity to people of all ages and both sexes.

Hi Leslie, thanks for your comments. I too thought that the most recent books were excellent additions to the series. Agree with you that it's all about the characters (and Venice, of course). It was interesting to see the slight change in Brunetti's relationship with his father-in-law.

Marge:

I also found your blog - doing a Google search on Donna Leon's books. I have used slowtravel before and will use it again for our July trip to northern Italy with a 2 night visit to Venice. My 2nd trip, granddaughter's first.

A Cruise Critic friend turned me on to Leon's books. I do enjoy reading about Venice and the surrounding area, Italian words once in awhile and the mystery of Guido.

Thanks for the link to her website. It was interesting to read more about her.

Hi Marge, thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you've got a trip coming up and plan to use Slow Travel. It's such a great resource, especially for Italy. And how wonderful to get to share your granddaughter's first trip!

Susan Kaup Kelley:

Thanks so much !
I get confused and start reading one of the books again... but of corse soon realize I had already read it... but usually continue because the writing and atmosphere and characters are SO GOOD !

Susan

You're welcome Susan and thanks for your comment. I too have read several of them more than once.

Tom Meschery:

Have you ever cosidered a cookbook based on Paolo's recipes?

Tom, that is such a great idea and I wish someone would do it. Not me though - I'm not that good of a cook!

The descriptions of their family meals are so much fun to read.

ana bergh:

Hello fellow Donna Leon readers:

I found Death at La Fenice at De Gaulle airport las year and got hooked! Have read them all and went to tour La Fenice July 13, 2009. I have gained 2 additional readers of Commisario Brunetti stories and found another fan at a dinner party

Val Walter:

I first was introduced to this series when a friend gave me a few of the books recently. I fell in love with Guido Brunetti, his family, and his work colleagues (well, most of his work colleagues). I have been trying to get my hands on the entire collection, and have made my way through several of the books. As each becomes available here in Canada will be adding them to my collection.

Hi Ana and Val, thanks for your comments. It's fun to see how many fellow Donna Leon fans there are.

Val, good luck finding the rest of the books. I was able to find some of them on-line.

Erica:

Dear Annie
Thanks for this! I almost bought the duplicate titles from Amazon - you've saved me lots!!

Erica, glad to help!

Only a couple of weeks until #19 is published; I'm looking forward to reading it.

Found your list after googling, Annie. :)

Am off to Venice again in 5 months. Tenth trip.

Am going to start reading these, will see if I can get the first one on the Kindle.

Would be fun to actually read one over there.

I reread Under the Tuscan Sun once, when I was staying in Cortona.

Louise:

Hello I love these books too my next cat is going to be called senorina Elettra. There is a cook book by Donna Leon 'A taste of Venice'.

Louise:

Hello again, I just looked on Amazon UK there is also 'Brunetti's Cookbook'.

Leslie, they are perfect books to read on the plane, both on the way to Venice and coming home (I've done that several times).

Louise, what a great name for a cat! And yes, I bought "Brunetti's Cookbook" a few weeks ago - it's a very nice book and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

Peter:

As of today, September 5, 2010 I have identified 22 novels Ms. Leon has written about Commissario Brunetti. My list does not include the cook book or the walking guide book, only the mystery novels. Can anyone confirm that this is the correct number of published novels thus far?

Hi Peter. 19 have been published so far, #20 will be released in Spring 2011. 3 of them (as you can see on the list above) were published with duplicate titles, which is where you got the number 22.

Peter:

Thank you. I will modify my list accordingly.

Hilary:

Hilary :
I have recently got into reading DL after reading an article about her in Woman & Home this summer and as a result I read The Anonymous Venetian and ordered the cookery book A Taste of Venice. So, I am hooked on DL and Brunetti and my husband has had Venetian food for the past fortnight or more ! The cookery book is fab and I read it like a novel as there are excerpts from the books to read alongside the appropriate recipes as well as several stories introducing each section. Thanks for the list , I will start ticking. Got two more from the library today!

Hi Hilary, I really enjoyed reading the cookbook too. I think it has different titles in the US and the UK (the American title is Brunetti's Cookbook). I haven't actually made anything from it yet but I intend to. :) Thanks for your comments!

Delores Taylor:

Thanks for the order and noting duplicate titles. Leon is so great; in addition to other comments, I have enjoyed the politics and what Brunetti and his wife are reading. These are great people for company in our South Carolina freezing December.

Hi Delores, thanks for your comment! I agree...the politics are great and I also enjoy reading about what they are reading. I'm looking forward to book #20 in the spring.

We are neighbors (I'm in North Carolina)...we are freezing here too and it's not even officially winter yet!

I had read 8 of the Brunetti Series before Question of Belief. Had I not enjoyed all of those books (never in any order), I looked forward to the latest. I was sorely disappointed. Everything that happens in this book has happened before. And if it hadn't, it was still a very boring novel. Predictable, and at least 2/3rds of the book is weather-related. I could have sworn, half the time, that I was reading the weather report. Sorry, Donna, any more weather (and recipes), and I'll have to turn off.

Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. That was the one about the extremely hot summer weather, wasn't it? It made me know that I don't even want to visit Venice in the summer time!

EMattoli:

Donna Leone is wonderful! She captures all the truths of how Italina are,how they behave and think...and you still come away appreciating Brunetti and wanting more of how he manages everything so well. Waiting for her next book takes great patience.

Hi EMattoli, I agree with you completely! Thanks for your comments. We only have a couple more months to wait for the next one. :)

Richard Woolaston:

Hi,
I'm new to this forum, am Australian and currently living for 6 months in Venice. Indeed as I write this on Sunday 10 April the sun is shining through our apartment windows in Cannaregio. Summer has come very early it was 27c yesterday! But I have a conundrum. Several days ago, it may have even been the week before we were walking back to our appartment after attending language school when just over the Rialto bridge on the Cannaregio side we saw 2 cd sets of Donna Leon books read by Andrew Sachs in a mainly music shop window. So went in and in the end bought them both plus 2 dvds of the Montalbano series, also a favourite but a bit more of a challenge in Italian and with Sicilian dialect.
I was aware that a new Brunetti book was due so went onto Google and found this very informative site and the name of the new novel "Drawing Conclusions" when I looked at the title of one of the cds we bought low and behold: Drawing Conclusions. How can we have bought a cd of the new novel possibly even before it was released in book form and for E10?

RichardW

Hi Richard, that is so interesting!

Well, the book "Drawing Conclusions" has been released in the US now. I'd pre-ordered it from amazon and then got an email saying that it was released earlier than initially planned, so I got it couple of weeks ago and have already read it.

Were the CDs you bought published in the US or the UK? That might have something to do with it too.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful 6 months in Venezia!

Richard Woolaston:

Thanks Annie for your comments. The cd is an english publication, i was also surprised that a cd would come out so quickly, basically with the book.
One of the teachers at the language school is a good friend of Donna Leon so I am hoping we may just get to meet her, but I won't push it at all. People deserve their privacy. Thanks again and we are sure to continue to enjoy Venice, we came in February for the Carnevale so still have 4 months to go.

Sheila:

I just found your blog today! Thanks for the list. I "read" via audiobooks so keeping track of the titles is a little challenging. The list will be a real help. I discovered Donna Leon at the advice of a Canadian writer, Louise Penny. I think you will love her regular characters. Start with the first one, Still Life to get the flavor. Her web site is really great too. Thanks again.

Hi Sheila, thanks for the tip about Louise Penny; I'll check her out!

Amy L:

One of the posts on this blog mentioned the characters of the diva and the archaeologist, but couldn't remember their names. Those names are Flavia Petrelli and Brett Lynch. (And who would ever think "Brett" is a woman's name, but it is.)

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