Friday, May 26, 2006

Profile: Donna Leon, An American in Venice

Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna LeonDonna Leon's mysteries provide a key to a city of heartbreaking beauty, writes Bob Thompson of the Washington Post. Leon has written 15 mysteries featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, all set in Venice, where she makes her home. Her books are bestsellers in Europe, though she is less well known in the US. Her most recent mystery, Through a Glass, Darkly, was published last month.

Donna Leon's Venice is so popular in Europe, where her books are bestsellers, that specially organized tours bring fans from Austria, Germany and Switzerland to follow Commissario Brunetti's footsteps through the calles (lanes) and campos (public squares) of her adopted home, adds Thompson.

Opera, even more than writing, is Leon's passion; the baroque orchestra Il Complesso Barocco owes its existence in large part to her involvement and support. What's more, she introduced her detective series with Death at La Fenice, in which Brunetti investigates the demise of a German conductor.

Read the rest of Bob Thompson's fascinating profile, as much of Venice as it is of Donna Leon, here.

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