Beastly Things by Donna Leon
A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

72%

17 Critic Reviews

But his conspiratorial dealings with his omni-competent assistant Signora Elettra and his suave attempts at acting dumb while he’s questioning his few suspects are equally rewarding.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

When the body of man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can Brunetti identify the man when he can’t show pictures of his face? The autopsy shows a way forward: it turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside of his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals.

At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti’s home, where conversation at family meals offer a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead. As subtle and engrossing as ever, Leon’s Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.
 

About Donna Leon

See more books from this Author
Donna Leon is the author of eighteen novels featuring Guido Brunetti, all of which have been highly acclaimed, and the winner of the CWA Silver Dagger Award. She has lived in Venice for thirty years.
 
Published April 3, 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 306 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Beastly Things
All: 17 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

But his conspiratorial dealings with his omni-competent assistant Signora Elettra and his suave attempts at acting dumb while he’s questioning his few suspects are equally rewarding.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on Apr 19 2012

If you have yet to experience Leon or Brunetti, there is no time like now to start, and no better place than BEASTLY THINGS.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Jane Jakeman on Apr 17 2012

the book is written with that depth of thought about crime and humanity that characterises the best of Leon's work.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Peter Lewis on May 18 2012

Following him through it feels as intimate as if we were looking into his underwear drawer...such a perspective can, through Leon's alchemy, feel positively uplifting.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Ott

A seemingly straightforward mystery written with such delicacy and emotional force that we can’t help but be reminded of Greek tragedy.

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The New Republic

Excellent
Reviewed by Peter Green on May 28 2012

Beastly Things is a quietly satisfying celebration of the series’s twenty-first birthday. Long may it continue.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Irene Wanner on Apr 15 2012

All her trademark strengths shine in this swiftly paced, sophisticated tale of greed versus ethics.

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Scoop

Excellent
Reviewed by Ruth Brassington on May 03 2012

Leon’s crime writing discloses Venice in all her glory...against a backdrop of politics, corruption, prejudice, societal changes and family life – a family you feel you’d like to know.

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Journey of a Bookseller

Good
Reviewed by Ann Hakola on Jan 22 2012

The story has a good flow, you'll learn about living in Venice, and I doubt that you will be able to identify the killer early.

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Euro Crime

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Peckham on Apr 01 2012

A charming read, and everything one has come to expect from this author.

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Buried Under Books

Below average
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor on May 21 2012

I was disturbed by the attention devoted to a topic that’s related to the mystery but given more importance.

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Murder by Type

Below average
Reviewed by Beth on May 04 2012

BEASTLY THINGS is a police procedural but it is also a political statement...Readers will not lose any of the story by skipping that section.

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MBTB's Mystery Book Blog

Below average
Apr 09 2012

Let's see, I'm almost to page 100 and there hasn't been too much about the victim...quite a lot of the remaining two-thirds of the book still is not really about the murder but about life in Venice...

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Tutu's Two Cents

Below average
Reviewed by Tina on Apr 03 2012

The plot is singularly uninspiring however, and I found myself asking "Is that all there is?"

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Mysteries in Paradise

Good
Reviewed by Kerrie on Mar 24 2012

Brunetti, both a perceptive investigator and a warmhearted family man, is one of the treasured characters of contemporary mystery fiction.

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Writing Through Rose Tinted Glasses

Below average
Reviewed by Rose Summers on Apr 20 2012

If you’re looking for an action oriented mystery with sharp turns, this isn’t the kind of story that will engage you.

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Material Witness Blog

Good
Reviewed by Ben Hunt on May 22 2012

Despite the gruesome nature of the investigation, and the diseased world it unveils, Beastly Things is a joy.

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Reader Rating for Beastly Things
84%

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Janet Carri 5 Sep 2013

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