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
  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages
    Apr 2006, 352 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Surprised at the policeman's tone, the man answered, 'I was walking by, and I saw this crowd, so I stopped.'

'Did you see who did it?'

'Did what?'

It occurred to Alvise only then that he had no idea what had been done, only that the Questura had received a call, saying that a black man was dead in Campo Santo Stefano. 'Can you show me some identification?' Alvise demanded.

The man took out his wallet and extracted his carta d'identità. Silently, he handed it to Alvise, who glanced at it before handing it back. 'Did you see anything?' he asked in the same voice.

'I told you, officer. I was walking by, and I saw these people standing around here, so I stopped to look. Nothing more.'

'All right. You can go,' Alvise said in a tone that suggested the man really had no choice. Alvise turned away from him and went back to the crime team, where the photographers were already packing up their equipment.

'Find anything?' he asked one of the technicians.

Santini, who was on his knees, running his gloved hands over the paving stones in search of shell casings, looked up at Alvise and said, 'A dead man,' before returning to his search.

Not deterred by the answer, Alvise pulled out a notebook from the inside pocket of his uniform parka. He flipped it open, took out a pen, and wrote 'Campo Santo Stefano'. He studied what he had written, glanced at his watch, added '20.58', capped the pen, and returned both notebook and pen to his pocket.

From his right, he heard a familiar voice ask, 'What's going on, Alvise?'

Alvise raised a languid hand in something that resembled a salute and said, 'I'm not sure, Commissario. We had a call, saying there was a dead man here, so we came over.'

His superior, Commissario Guido Brunetti, said, 'I can see that, Alvise. What happened to cause the man to be dead?'

'I don't know, sir. We're waiting for the doctor to get here.'

'Who's coming?' Brunetti asked.

'Who's coming where, sir?' Alvise asked, utterly at a loss.

'Which doctor is coming? Do you know?'

'I don't know, sir. I was in such a hurry to get the team here that I told them at the Questura to call and have one of the doctors sent.'

Brunetti's question was answered by the arrival of Dottor Ettore Rizzardi, medico legale of the city of Venice.

'Ciao, Guido,' Rizzardi said, shifting his bag to his left hand and offering his right. 'What have we got?'

'A dead man,' Brunetti said. 'I got the call at home, saying someone had been killed here, but nothing more than that. I just got here myself.'

'Better have a look, then,' Rizzardi said, turning towards the taped-off area. 'You speak to anyone?' he asked Brunetti.

'No. Nothing.' Talking to Alvise never counted.

Rizzardi bent and slipped under the tape, placing one hand on the pavement to do so, then held the tape up to make it easier for Brunetti to join him. The doctor turned to one of the technicians. 'You've taken pictures?'

'Sì, Dottore,' the man answered. 'From every side.'

'All right, then,' Rizzardi said, setting down his bag. He turned away, took out two pairs of thin plastic gloves and gave one pair to Brunetti. As they slipped them on, the doctor asked, 'Give me a hand?'

They knelt on either side of the dead man. All that was visible was the right side of his face and his hands. Brunetti was struck by the very blackness of the man's skin, then bemused by his own surprise: what other colour did he expect an African to be? Unlike the black Americans Brunetti had seen, with their shading from cocoa to copper, this man was the colour of ebony buffed to a high gloss.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.