Excerpt from Blood From A Stone by Donna Leon, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Blood From A Stone

A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

By Donna Leon

Blood From A Stone
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Apr 2005,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2006,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


'There were some Americans here when it happened.'

'How did you know they were Americans, Signora?' he asked.

'They had white shoes and they were very loud,' she answered.

'When it happened?' he insisted. 'Were you here? Did you see?'

She took her right cane and lifted it to point in the direction of the pharmacy on the corner, about twenty metres away. 'No, I was over there. Just coming in. I saw them, the Americans. They were walking this way, from the bridge, and then they all stopped to look at the stuff the vu cumprà had.'

'And you, Signora?'

She moved her cane a few millimetres to the left. 'I went into the bar.'

'How long were you in there, Signora?'

'Long enough.'

'Long enough for what?' he asked, smiling at her, not at all annoyed by her oblique answer.

'Barbara, the owner, after about eight, she takes all the tramezzini that haven't been sold, and she cuts them up into little pieces and puts them on the counter. If you buy a drink, you can eat all you want.'

This surprised Brunetti, unaccustomed as he was to such generosity from the owners of bars; from the owners of anything, for that matter.

'She's a good girl, Barbara,' the old woman said. 'I knew her mother.'

'So how long do you think you were in there, Signora?' he asked.

'Maybe half an hour,' she answered, then explained, 'It's my dinner, you see. I go there every night.'

'Good to know, Signora. I'll remember that if I'm ever over here.'

'You're over here now,' she said, and when he didn't respond, she went on: 'The Americans, they went in there. Well, two of them did,' she added, lifting the cane again and pointing at the bar.

'They're in the back, having hot chocolate. You could probably talk to them if you wanted to,' she said.

'Thank you, Signora,' he said and turned towards the bar.

'The prosciutto and carciofi is the best,' she called after him.



Chapter Three

Brunetti hadn't been in the bar for years, ever since the brief period when it had been converted into an American ice-cream parlour and had begun to serve an ice-cream so rich it had caused him a serious bout of indigestion the one time he had eaten it. It had been, he recalled, like eating lard, though not the salty lard he remembered from his childhood, tossed in to give taste and substance to a pot of beans or lentil soup, but lard as lard would be if sugar and strawberries were added to it.

His fellow Venetians must have responded in similar fashion, for the place had changed ownership after a few years, but Brunetti had never been back. The tubs of ice-cream were gone now, and it had reverted to looking like an Italian bar. A number of people stood at the curved counter, talking animatedly and turning often to point out at the now-quiet campo; some sat at small tables that led into the back room. Three women stood behind the bar; one of them, seeing Brunetti enter, offered him a friendly smile. He walked towards the back and saw an elderly couple at the last table on the left. They had to be Americans. They might as well have been draped in the flag. White-haired, both of them, they gave the bizarre impression that they were dressed in each other's clothing. The woman wore a checked flannel shirt and a pair of thick woollen slacks, while the man wore a pink V-necked sweater, a pair of dark trousers, and white tennis shoes. Both apparently had their hair cut by the same hand. One could not say, exactly, that hers was longer: it was merely less short.

Copyright © 2005 by Donna Leon and Diogenes Verlag AG Zurich. Reprinted with permission from Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  162The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.