By Its Cover

Leon, Donna

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
By Its Cover
One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem--the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn't exist. As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.

Published: New York :, Atlantic Monthly Press,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 0802122647
Branch Call Number: F LEO
Characteristics: 237 pages :,map ;,24 cm.


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Feb 25, 2015
  • wendybradley rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Set in Venice, this series of detective stories are wonderful. A lot goes on beyond the case this detective works on. The author obviously loves this city, warts and all. The characters are well rounded, the plots interesting and the 'colour' fascinating.

Jan 31, 2015
  • mlc1 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.


She could have done so much with the story but it falls flat.

Jan 14, 2015
  • brangwinn rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

You can never go wrong with a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. If like me, you are a librarian and going on a cruise from Venice, this book has special meaning. I’d never thought about how the wake caused by those huge cruise ships impact the fragile Venice buildings. Granted cruise ships are only mentioned in passing, but that’s going to have a big impact on my as my huge cruise ship leaves port. Leon does such a good job creating her characters, both the ones that appear in every story and the ones who just appear in one. You want to visit Venice? Leon really gives you a good feel what life in like in this magical city.

Sep 29, 2014
  • KKHannegan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I've read all of Donna Leon's Brunetti series and love them. I appreciated this one for the wit and social commentary which Leon does so well. However, this book seemed to be about 100 pages short of a complete mystery. The story ended so abruptly that it seemed that Leon got bored with the story herself!

Sep 28, 2014
  • rentabook rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I just could not get into this book and gave up about a third of the way through.

Sep 01, 2014
  • miaone rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I've loved Donna Leon's previous Brunetti books, but this one started slow, painfully slow. I didn't mind learning from her about very old books and the thefts thereof, but nothing much happened in the plot for the first half of the book. Then when it did, the details seemed to get str-e-t-c-hed out too much. And as other readers have noted, the ending was abrupt.

Usually I really like the parts of her books that include other police officers, and also Brunetti's family, but in this one all those parts feel patched on. None of the characters seem real, which isn't like Leon.

If this'd been the first Leon mystery I'd read, it'd be my last.

Aug 17, 2014
  • DorisWaggoner rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

As usual, Brunetti's boss wants to accept the obvious suspect when pages are stolen from books in a prestigious rare-book Venetian library. And as usual, Brunetti looks beyond the obvious. The obvious suspect, the man who looked at those books for weeks, has disappeared--and didn't exist in the first place. When the old man who spent his days in the library reading theology is murdered, Brunetti must look in another direction. Again, when he finds the solution, he must struggle with whether to let the law run its course, or do the moral thing. Brunetti changes and grows, as do his better co-workers, and his family, part of the joy of this wonderful series.

Aug 01, 2014
  • pokano rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I usually love Commissario Brunetti books, but I could NOT get into this one. It felt different than Leon's other books.

Jun 11, 2014
  • Tentacle rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyable as always but ending was a rush job.Must try harder.

Apr 23, 2014
  • franceonisland rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I always enjoy Donna Leon's Brunetti books, but I was a bit disappointed in this latest one. She ends the book abruptly, tying up the loose ends in one last page. I wish she'd given us a bit more on why the killer, who did not seem to be a violent man, committed such an act. It just seemed too simple, too pat.
Otherwise, it was a great read.


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