Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
NEW!

Unto Us a Son Is Given

by Donna Leon

For the 28th novel in Donna Leon’s bestselling mystery series, the apparent indiscretion of an elderly family friend involves a reluctant Commissario Guido Brunetti . . . until the sudden natural death of his friend sets in motion a murder

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date March 05, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2911-6
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date March 05, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4682-3

About the Book

“Your situation is always ambiguous, isn’t it, Guido?”, his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, observes of Donna Leon’s soulful detective, Guido Brunetti, at the beginning of her superb 28th Brunetti novel, Unto Us A Son Is Given. “The world we live in makes that necessary,” Brunetti presciently replies. Count Falier was urging his Venetian son-in-law to investigate, and preferably intervene in, the seemingly innocent plan of the Count’s best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under arcane Italian inheritance laws this man would then be heir to Gonzalo’s entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo’s friends find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man, a close family friend, can’t be allowed his pleasure in peace.

And yet, what seems innocent on the Venetian surface can cause tsunamis beneath. Gonzalo unexpectedly, and literally, drops dead on the street, and his good friend Berta Dodson, just arrived in Venice for the memorial service, is strangled in her hotel room—having earlier sent Gonzalo an email saying “We are the only ones who know you cannot do this,” referring to the adoption. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo’s life that ultimately led to murder—a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction.

Once again, Donna Leon brilliantly plumbs the twists and turns of the human condition, reuniting us with some of crime fiction’s most memorable and enduring characters.

Praise for Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries:

“[Leon] has never become perfunctory, never failed to give us vivid portraits of people and of Venice, never lost her fine, disillusioned indignation.”—Ursula K. LeGuin, New York Times

“You become so wrapped up in these compelling characters . . . Each one is better than the last.”—Louise Erdrich, PBS NewsHour

“Donna Leon’s Venetian mysteries never disappoint, calling up the romantic sights and sounds of La Serenissima even as they acquaint us with the practical matters that concern the city’s residents.”—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive, and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon . . . One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.”—Washington Post

“The sophisticated but still moral Brunetti, with his love of food and his loving family, proves a worthy custodian of timeless values and verities.”—Wall Street Journal

“[Leon] uses the relatively small and crime-free canvas of Venice for rips about Italian life, sexual styles and—best of all—the kind of ingrown business and political corruption that seems to lurk just below the surface.”—Chicago Tribune

“Hers is an unusually potent cocktail of atmosphere and event.”—New Yorker

“For those who know Venice, or want to, Brunetti is a well-versed escort to the nooks, crannies, moods, and idiosyncrasies of what residents call La Serenissima, the Serene One . . . Richly atmospheric, [Leon] introduces you to the Venice insiders know.”—USA Today

“Donna Leon is the undisputed crime fiction queen . . . Leon’s ability to capture the social scene and internal politics [of Venice] is first-rate.”—Baltimore Sun

“Terrific at providing, through its weary but engaging protagonist, a strong sense of the moral quandaries inherent in Italian society and culture.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Brunetti is one of the most attractive policemen in crime fiction today.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

“As always, Brunetti is highly attuned to (and sympathetic toward) the failings of the humans around him.”—Seattle Times

“Leon’s writing trembles with true feeling.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Leon started out with offhand, elegant excellence, and has simply kept it up.”—Guardian

“Compassionate yet incorruptible, Brunetti knows that true justice doesn’t always end in an arrest or a trial.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Brunetti] is a superb police detective—calm, deliberate, and insightful as he investigates with a reflective thoroughness.”—Library Journal

“The appeal of Guido Brunetti, the hero of Donna Leon’s long-running Venetian crime series, comes not from his shrewdness, though he is plenty shrewd, nor from his quick wit. It comes, instead, from his role as an Everyman . . . [his life is] not so different from our own days at the office or nights around the dinner table. Crime fiction for those willing to grapple with, rather than escape, the uncertainties of daily life.”—Booklist

“It’s difficult to describe the work of Donna Leon other than in superlatives . . . An annual blessing, a fine series—one of the finest (see what I mean) in the mystery (or any) genre . . . There are few reading joys that equal cracking the binding of a new Leon novel . . . If you have not experienced this world, so exotic and yet so familiar, you can pick up literally any volume in the series and begin a comfortable entry into Brunetti’s Venice.”—BookReporter

“One of the most popular crime series worldwide . . . While the Brunetti books, with their abundance of local color and gastronomic treats, appeal to the fans of the traditional mystery, Leon has something darker and deeper in mind.”—Life Sentence

“No author has delved into Venetian society quite like Leon, whose insider’s view shows how crime seeps throughout the city, touching all strata of society.”—Mystery Scene