Transient Desires: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

One of my favorite mystery writers, Donna Leon, has written another fantastic (her 30th) Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery.  Venice is one of the main characters, along with Guido and his family, and Guido’s fellow officers at the Questura. My personal favorite characters (along with Guido) are Neapolitan Commissario Claudia Griffoni and Signorina Elettra. In this book the Coast Guard and Guido’s team work together to apprehend smugglers and to liberate their cargo. Another expose of the underbelly of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

— From Joan's Picks


In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon's masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joy riding in the Laguna with two young Italians. However, Brunetti's curiosity is aroused by the behavior of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital. If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it?

As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. To get to the bottom of what proves to be a gut-wrenching case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Costiera. Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are technologically brilliant and ruthlessly organized.

Donna Leon's Transient Desires is as powerful as any novel she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits and forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.

About the Author

Donna Leon, born in New Jersey in 1942, has worked as a travel guide in Rome and as a copywriter in London. She taught literature in universities in Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia. Commissario Brunetti made her books world-famous. Donna Leon lived in Italy for many years, and although she now lives in Switzerland, she often visits Venice.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802158178
ISBN-10: 080215817X
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English