• Acqua Alta

  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (241 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Leon's fifth Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery, the beating of renowned art historian Dotoressa Brett Lynch draws the contemporary Venetian police detective out of his warm and loving home and into the yearly onslaught of acqua alta, the torrential winter rains. Brett, an American who spearheaded a recent exhibition of Chinese pottery in Venice, lives with her lover, Flavia Petrelli, the reigning diva of La Scala. With his open mind and good sense, Brunetti finds himself more fazed by Flavia's breathtaking talent than by the nontraditional relationship between the two women. Brunetti's deliberate and humane investigation to uncover a motive for Brett's beating takes him to dark, wet corners of Venice and into a sinister web of art theft, fakery, and base human desires.

©1996 Donna Leon and 1997 by Diogenes Verlag AG Zurich (P)2018 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Acqua Alta

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great series

I love listening to these books. And I wonder why it's taken me so long to discover Donna Leon's fabulous work.

This wasn't my favorite but Guido is still fantastic. I love his interaction with Paula and Chiara. Thank goodness I have a long way to go with this series.

The narration is first-rate.

5 people found this helpful

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Another wonderful reading!

This is an earlier Brunetti mystery and I found I missed a stronger presence of his family: the colourful and often justly angry political observations of Paula, as well as stronger roles for Chiara and Raffi, who give us such a tender side of Brunetti. The picture of Venice, that other main character in the Brunetti mysteries, drowning and decaying under high water is one I haven't encountered before. There was much information about art and antiquities theft. The scale of the theft worldwide is indeed disturbing. The ending seemed more just than Donna Leon usually allows. Definitely another good listen in the Brunetti stories with that cozy, flawless narration by Calacci.

7 people found this helpful

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My Favorite Series

Each time I say, this one is my favorite! Guido has me reading the classics!

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening!

A very intricately woven story with some returning characters from a previous volume. So intriguing! In the last 90 minutes, I HAD to listen continuously because I couldn’t figure out how there could be a “happy” ending. But everything worked out (maybe not happily, but) satisfactorily and ingeniously!
Again, fantastic narration!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Put on your Wellies!

This is my first Donna Leon mystery and I am now completely hooked. Anyone who has been to Venice will have lovely memories stirred. Inspector Brunetti is a wonderful character and someone you would want to know. The performance is first rate.

1 person found this helpful

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Not her best effort.

The story moved like a turtle until the last hour. Tedious at best. Time waster.

1 person found this helpful

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Acqua Alta

I love this book! I practically binged listening to it. Perfect for a long road trip.

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Investigating in high water

law-enforcement, murder, murder-investigation, museum, art-fraud, art-theft, artifact, Venice, family-dynamics, friendship

Acqua alta is the term used in Veneto for the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea. Exceptional is right! Add relentless rain to the phenomenon in Venice and you have a situation where the water outside can reach knee level and calf level in the entryways.
Amid this, there is the severe beating of a renowned expert of Chinese pottery artifacts (known from a previous case to Commissario Brunetti) in her own home, and soon thereafter the murder of the director of a prominent local museum. Another convoluted tale of murder in a very unique city and the solid police work (and a little sneaky stuff, too) by the Commissario.
Narrator David Colacci has the trick of using American standard Italian and Sicilian accents to differentiate the multiple male characters down to a science. Bravissimo!

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Suspenseful and sometimes heart rending.

I really enjoy Donna Leon’s writing. Sometimes her topics can be painful to read about, but she always includes humor and often returns to a light note after a serious scene.

I recommend this book, and all of Donna Leon‘s books, to anyone who enjoys learning about venetian culture, and specific details about the city of Venice. Leon uses existing restaurants, bars and piazzas in her plots, which make it even possible to follow her book “ Brunetti’s Venice” and have a caffe or ombra where Guido and his companions do.

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super great

it was a great story and makes you feel like you are a actually in Venice