Death in a Strange Country: Book Review 

Today, we will be reviewing Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon. It is the second novel in the Commissario Brunetti series and follows the detective as he tries to solve a murder than involves an American soldier. Keep reading for a brief summary and what we thought of the novel! 

Death in a Strange Country Summary 

A body is discovered in a Venetian canal in the morning. The dead person is a young American serviceman and the only things in his pocket are American coins. Commissario Guido Brunetti is assigned the case and all the clues point towards a random mugging gone wrong. But Brunetti is not convinced and keeps digging deeper.  

After interviewing people and getting clues about the case and the serviceman, Brunetti stumbles on a big conspiracy. The U.S. army, the Italian government, and the Mafia might be working together. And it all ties back into what the American serviceman was investigating, toxic waste.  

Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon Guido Brunetti
Death in a Strange Country book review

Brunetti is taken off the case but he continues on it secretly as he is reassigned to a different case. But these two separate cases might be connected and a wanted criminal that was recently released is in the middle of it.  


After reading the first book in the series, Death at La Fenice, I had to have more. Donna Leon is an amazing writer and she knows how to get you hooked. The mystery with the American soldier is intriguing with a lot of interesting characters sprinkled throughout the book. But I also loved learning more about Guido Brunetti and his family.  

Once the mystery gets under way, you will find it hard to put down the book. There is a lot that happens and yet, the pacing of the novel is perfect. As always, Leon is a master at describing the setting and balancing the setting with the plot as well as Brunetti’s personal life.  

I truly believe that Leon cannot write a bad novel. In this novel, when Brunetti gets reassigned a new case and yet, the novel doesn’t lose any momentum. The new case is just as interesting and introduces us to a couple of characters that are unique and fun.  

Death in a Strange Country


If you love a good mystery novel, then this is a great book to read. While you don’t have to read the first book as these are all stand-alone books, I do recommend it. You learn more about Brunetti and his relationship with his family, job, boss, and the city he dearly loves.  

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