#BookBeginnings The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon

Today we have The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:¬†¬† A friend of his wife’s implores Commissario Guido Brunetti to look into her son’s drug use, but before he starts the woman’s husband is found with a severe head injury. Brunetti must find out if the two problems are connected.

This is the twenty-seventh novel in the Commissario Guido Brunetti  police procedural series. The novels are set in Venice.

First Sentence:

Having left the apartment smack on time so as to arrive at the Questura on time for a meeting with his superior, Brunetti found himself seated towards the rear of a Number One vaporetto, glancing idly through a copy of that morning’s Gazzettino.


I like how the novel starts with the beginning of Guido Brunetti’s day. It is relaxing, but with a hint of things to come.

Donna Leon adds a few specific words that establish both the tone and setting. The Questura is the police station in Venice. The vaporetto is a water bus, which is something so specific to Venice. Plus, the newspaper is called the Gazzettino.

Whenever I read this series, I just want to hop on a plane to Venice.

What do you think? Have you read anything by Donna Leon?


  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Sounds very tempting. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  2. Yvonne

    I never read anything by Donna Leon, but this sounds really good. I’ll have to add her to my list.

  3. Ronnie @ Paradise Found

    I’d love to visit Venice so much too! It’s great the author ‘owns’ the city in her writing. Enjoy!

  4. Nicolette Rosanowski

    I have got many Donna Leon novels on my bookshelf and was thrilled to get this one for Christmas. However, it was very disappointing . For whatever reason Ms Leon appears to have found it necessary to have several story lines, only one of which has a conclusion and it is not the main case with which the story starts. What about the son who may or may not be taking drugs? No idea. What about the pharmacist who is dirty dealing? No consequence! What about the doctor who writes the prescriptions? Well, she agrees to go to the questore and then the novel just ends. Thank goodness!! The whole novel is incohesive and partly incoherent, with a title that has nothing to do with the story. I simply cannot understand all the praise in the press. It was an awful experience.

    • Roberta

      You have to wonder when authors have written long series under tight deadlines. at some point that must take a toll. Fans will continue to buy them, however, so the process is perpetuated.

  5. Jmac

    While “sheltering in place’ during the pandemic I decided to reread the Commissario Brunetti series by Donna Leon. I started with “Death at la Fenice” and just finished with “Trace Elements”. As with any long running series there will be titles that don’t satisfy as much as others do but overall Ms. Leon’s books are well written and thought provoking. Her vivid descriptions of Venice with all it’s beauty and problems bring the city to life for her readers. I’ve enjoyed my walk down memory lane with this series. My only question is how does Paola manage to cook all the delicious lunch and dinners while juggling her university position and addiction to Henry James

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