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Extended Audio Sample The Girl of His Dreams Audiobook, by Donna Leon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,419 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donna Leon Narrator: David Colacci Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781482977639
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On a rainy morning, not long after the funeral of his mother, Commissario Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello respond to a 911 call reporting a body floating near the steps in one of Venice’s side canals. Reaching down to pull it out, Brunetti’s wrist is caught by the silkiness of golden hair, and he sees a small foot—together he and Vianello lift a dead girl from the water. But, inconceivably, no one has reported a missing child, nor the theft of the gold jewelry that she carries.

So Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death, but also for her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children—be they innocent or guilty. The investigation takes Brunetti from the canals and palazzos of Venice to a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, through quicksands of connections and relationships both known and concealed, as he struggles with both institutional prejudice and entrenched criminality to try to unravel the fate of the dead child.                            

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Reading The Girl of His Dreams leaves you no choice but to reconsider what makes a mystery novel so good. Certainly there’s no denying the appeal of a hard-boiled crime story, where more often than not a brilliant yet battered P.I. drives you white-knuckled to the edge of your seat, but Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti—at once exactingly inquisitive and disarmingly sensitive—bucks that genre convention entirely.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • Amazon Best Book of the Month

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rafa Sánchez | 2/18/2014

    " Going deeper into Brunetti's world and his circle of acquintances. He is a brave guy... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dee | 2/17/2014

    " A terrific nwe Brunetti, with glorious food, the ever wise Paola, and a tragic story...the greatest writer about Venice since the 19th century. And more fun than James and Wharton and Mann. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 2/13/2014

    " Ahhh, my Brunetti fix! I am never disappointed!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/1/2014

    " Nice to read about the gentle pace of Venice in the sunshine when it is winter here. I like how they just walk about pop in for coffee here and a bite to eat there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 1/19/2014

    " Another great book in one of my favorite series. Guido Brunetti, the main character, is the best! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merlys | 1/18/2014

    " Quick read - good mystery featuring once again--Guido Brunetti "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Reilly | 1/16/2014

    " Not my favorite Brunetti mystery. The plot dragged and seemed a bit convoluted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 1/16/2014

    " I have "read the shelf" of this writer's mysteries. The Girl of His Dreams had a deeply sad tone to it, as the story revolves around a crime for which there will never be justice. Some of the main characters are Gypsies, nomads,or Rom who deal with much discrimination and physical and political abuse in Italy where all Leon's books are set. The book is intriguing, as the "the law" deals with an ethnic group that seems out of the norm from the majority of Italian citizens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 1/10/2014

    " I'm about a third of a way in. I love Donna Leon - she is so witty while scathing. I'm thinking of all the other people who would love this book as well, and who I want to loan it to when I finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 1/8/2014

    " A quick weekend mystery set in Venice - fun for "Retire in Italy" wannabes like me. One of many by the author - this is the first I've read. Enjoyed some of the characters voiced opinions about the U.S. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Clare | 12/6/2013

    " Not a great book - didn't get the bit about the priest and the money - wasn't sure what it was all about. Felt like it was written to a formula. She should change tack or beef up her plots! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barrie | 11/22/2013

    " Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti books are always an enjoyable read for me, even when the ending is dismal. Sometimes, good things do not happen to good people (and bad things do not happen to bad people). Just like real life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 10/17/2013

    " One of her better efforts. Always fun to read Leon as one learns about life in Venice. Good plot line with equally good writing. Would definitely recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 10/14/2013

    " I love listening to the Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti mystery series. I can't decide who I like better, Guido or his wife Paula and I love the Venice setting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen Miller | 7/8/2013

    " If the book had a little more detail, it would have been a 4 star. I think since this is #17 in his series, he probably only little seasons his books. Liked him enough to try another book in the series as so enjoyed the storylines just wanted more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison Smith | 7/1/2013

    " Whodunnits set in Venice, with the charming Insp Brunetti. Can't resist them! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 1/12/2013

    " I liked this. It was the typical Brunetti mystery, which really is more about characters and Venice and delicious family meals than it is about a mystery. Full of cynicism but tenderness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather Jannsen | 8/3/2012

    " Dreadfully boring but very enlightening on the ways of life in Venice and descriptive enough it made me feel somewhat haunted when I visited there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 1/8/2012

    " I like Donna Leon well enough; I realised I'd read this before, and still I went to the end with it. That probably says more about my mental state than the durability of this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 6/8/2011

    " Ending was disappointing--felt like the book just ended without really wrapping up the events in the story, or rather, that they were wrapped up too tidily but unrealistically. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bachyboy | 5/11/2011

    " Always enjoyable, always richly Venetian. The dual storyline works well; chasing up the possibly bent religious leader and the mystery of the drowned gypsy child. The book seemed to be finished so quickly and I was left wanting more! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 4/14/2011

    " I like Donna Leon well enough; I realised I'd read this before, and still I went to the end with it. That probably says more about my mental state than the durability of this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janine | 3/27/2011

    " death of 11 yr old gypsy girl, death of Guido's mother, investigation for Catholic priest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aguess | 2/24/2011

    " With Leon's later books it really is more about Venice than it is about the mystery. And that is fine with me. I spent a summer in Venice and I follow Brunetti down every street in my mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 2/20/2011

    " Not my favorite Brunetti mystery. The plot dragged and seemed a bit convoluted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne | 2/7/2011

    " Learned some interesting facts about Roms. Lots of Italian words that I can look up. Good read!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 2/2/2011

    " Ending was a bit sudden and at times it was a slow read but overall still enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mrsgaskell | 12/15/2010

    " I enjoy this series with Guido Brunetti but this isn’t a particularly compelling number in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 10/11/2010

    " First book read by D. Leon love the setting Venice, Italy. Will read other books especially with Commissario Guido Brunetti. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 10/10/2010

    " The first part of this book is so worth reading. It slowed down a little at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 9/11/2010

    " Just finished another of Donna Leon's remarkable Inspector Brunetti mysteries. The writing and dialogue continue to delight. I love these books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William | 7/14/2010

    " The Commisaasrio Brunetti stories are always good reads, as is this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige | 7/11/2010

    " The mystery in this book deals with the drowning of a young child making for a grim read. I enjoy these books for the personality of and view of Venice through Commissario Brunetti's eyes. And I love the supporting cast of characters. His wife is great. "

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About the Author
Author Donna Leon

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed, including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Silver Dagger for Fiction.

About the Narrator

David Colacci is an actor and director who has directed and performed in prominent theaters nationwide. His credits include roles from Shakespeare to Albee, as well as extensive work on new plays. As a narrator, he has recorded more than one hundred audiobooks, earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His narration of The Suspect was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2007.