Dressed for Death Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dressed for Death

In the third of a series, Venice police commissario Guido Brunetti is sent to examine a body in Mestre, across the lagoon from Venice proper. The corpse, in a dress and high heels, turns out to be a heavily made-up males. When further investigation reveals the victim to have been a respected executive of the local office of Bank of Verona, not a known transvestite, Brunetti realizes there's something deeper going on.
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The trail will lead through the area's gay community, and in the course of uncovering a massive real estate rental scam will result in more deaths, including that of a young policewoman. As always, Brunetti will face delicate political issues in solving the case, especially since his boss's wife has apparently run off with Italy's biggest porn movie producer, so Vice Questore Patta is not in any great condition to assist his star detective.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Donna Leon is one of the most fascinating and absorbing writer of today's police procedural. Her Guido Brunetti series, set in Venice, is filled with landscape and
atmosphere of the modern Italian city known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Leon, in this immensely popular series, has created a set of characters headed by this erstwhile--and seeminly incorruptible-- police vice commassario. In “Dressed for Death,” a man's body is found, dressed in female clothing. At first, it is assumed to be the death of a local transvestite; however, it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary death, no transvestite, and the beginning of a complicated run for truth and justice. This novel shows a tangled web woven by complicted forces in Venetian society and Leon, through Brunetti, examines police corruption, political aberrations, and criminal activity (especially the illecit sex trade). She also
continues her character portrayal of Brunetti and his family. This series is quite an “addiction”!
The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs

Chapter Analysis of Dressed for Death

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   government investigator    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Italian


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy City?    -   Yes City:    -   Dirty, dangerous (like New York)

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Donna Leon Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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