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Summary

Bella Tyson is a famous 40-something crime writer suffering from writer’s block ever since a bitter divorce two years before. When a fan offers her the use of an apartment in Venice, Bella jumps at it, hoping a change of scene will have her writing again. Once there, she soon meets Will, a charming Englishman, who shows her around the city. 

Enchanted by both Will and her new surroundings, Bella decides to write a supernatural murder mystery and begins researching local legends and the city’s more sinister side, including an illicit visit to the island of Poveglia, spooky former home of Venice’s asylum. Soon Bella uncovers more than she has bargained for and finds herself enmeshed in a series of gruesome real-life murders that uncannily mirror the legends she is researching. 

As she and Will join forces to investigate, real life and local lore merge disconcertingly - for nothing in Venice turns out to be what seems, including Will....

©2018 Fiona Leitch (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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Dead in Venice

Dead in Venice by Fiona Leitch is a funny dark crime tale. It's about Bella a very human and relatable character, who's flaws make her come alive for me. Will is another character that I found easy to believe in.

The other great character in the book is Venice and here Fiona uses language to create pictures that take me there.

The story has both light and dark parts deal well with it's subject matter. It also has a lot of funny moments that help build the characters so that I cared what happened to them.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Excellent.

This has movie written all over it. Oh, all right. SAID all over it. But that's the thing. Such a good story that I can see it all. The Italian lady with the keys? I am seeing an Italian version of Julie Walters as Mrs Overall but with attitude. This book is so good. So good that it should be a book. Well done Fiona Leitch. Brilliant!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gripping and hilarious!

This is a gripping story. I finished the book in two days. I did not want to press, 'pause'. A fabulous series of murders and a heart-rending and at times hilarious story. When is Bella and Will's next crime solving spree?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Russian Doll of a story

This is a book containing another book while a third book is written. All without confusing the reader. It has thrills and titters wrapped up together. Thoroughly enjoyed it and hope a sequel will be written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Get giddy on a gondola

Romantic and amusing with a few gruesome murders thrown in. A thoroughly good listen with some well written descriptive narratives that whisk you away to Venice. There were hints of a sequel and I, for one, would buy it. Well worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent debut

No spoilers here,really enjoyed this story and the odd splash of dark very English humour!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fiona!!! Writer of the year!

What a great story enjoyed every moment and How great were the characters.
So I listened to this book whist I was working this week and the story just got better and better.
Dead in Venice had it all from romance to comedy and then crime and i would recommend it to anyone (adults) of course.
Fiona your very talented writer and I look forward to more of your story’s ahead well done my friend!! Charlotte xxx

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Throughly enjoyable experience

A great listen with an unusual mix of romance mystery, horror and very realistic and amusing insight into the life of a writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfectly plotted!

I bloody loved this and finished it over the course of two days.
As the blurb tells us, Bella has a nasty case of writer's block and so jumps at the chance of a holiday to Italy for some inspiration. Once there she meets Will. The posh Englishman who seems far too perfect but whom she quickly starts to fall for.
I love Bella. I really do. Told from her point of view, I was inside her head and completely absorbed in everything she said and did, and I was rooting for her for the off. Working with authors in my day job I know how crippling writer's block can be, so I was hoping for her to overcome it … and boy does she!
When she arrives in Italy, everything is new and tense and this isn’t helped by the fact she speaks no Italian. What follows is a bit of a slow to build plot which twists and turns as the folk lore Bella has started to research for her book start to come true! Some of the tales had me shuddering, but I do love that kind of thing, so it was right up my street.
Being in a strange country, Bella has no one. No one she can properly turn to, apart from hot toff, Will. But from the off there’s something about him that isn’t quite right … or is there? Bella has recently divorced, and so trust isn’t the easiest thing for her grasp, but what choice does she have?
With a strong cast of characters, it was easy to fall into this one and not want to hit the pause button.
My only ‘issue’ was the genre … with the blurb telling us about the folk lore and an asylum and murders, I was expecting something different, something more mainstream and defined in that particular genre, what we actually get is a combination of gritty crime thriller, hilarious rom-com, with a splash of the heart-wrenching emotions. And it works.
It works so well, and I loved it. Completely.
And I love it when that happens; when I’m expecting one thing and get something so much more instead.
Bella is real, and her story feels real. It’s the kinda thing I daydream about happening to me. I want to go somewhere and have weird and crazy and scary things happen to me! She is literally living her storyline, and it’s wonderful.
I’d strongly recommend this one, folks!
It’s great!

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A murderous, hilarious rom-com

Excellently narrated, Dead In Venice is filled with keen observational humour, relatable characters and a compelling plot.

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  • Michael Witt
  • 09-10-18

A Delicious Mystery from an Engaging New Author

I was a voracious reader as a youth. I would read anything I could get my hands on, from cereal boxes to People Magazine, from junk mail to The Brothers Karamazov. Its been a long, LONG time since I have enjoyed a work of fiction the way I enjoyed DEAD IN VENICE, which has made writing this review a lot harder than I would have imagined. I am not used to being this entertained by an author who clearly loved every minute she spent writing this book, and it shows in everything from her descriptions of the apartment in Venice and Bella's initial reaction to the city, to the way Bella begins a tentative romance with a mysterious detective who has a few secrets of his own. The calculated shift from Bella's eagerness to explore her new surroundings to the growing tension of what happened on the island is masterfully handled, until I was so far down the rabbit hole that I sat in a parking lot listening to the final chapters to make sure I didn't miss anything that was going on. I can't wait to see what happens next for this author and her main character. DEAD IN VENICE made me fall in love with fiction again, and that is really saying something,

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  • Michele F.
  • 27-09-18

Gripping!

What a pleasure it was to listen to Deryn Edwards superb interpretation of Fiona Leitch relentlessly surprising story. It was difficult to stop listening when life interfered as the numerous tales within a tale, and the many unexpected twists, kept me wanting to know more RIGHT NOW!
Ms Leitch's light tone contrasts with the very serious subject matter, and makes it all the more emotional and powerful for the listener, and she doesn't pull any punches: It is in turn horrifying, funny, tender, hopeful, or sad. Whatever the story calls for, the story gets.
This is a courageous book, devoid of sentimentality but full of sentiment.

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  • D Young
  • 14-09-18

Venice, Vidi, Vici

"Dead in Venice" is a crime thriller that is equal parts page-turner, laugh-inducer and creepiness-creator. And as my commute audiobook, the damn thing kept me sitting in my driveway well after I had gotten home.

The story's fated couple, Bella and Will, are likable despite their flaws (or maybe because of them), and are just plain fun. Bella's internal - and often external - monologue hilariously illustrates the crazy range of the author's voice, while acting as the glue holding the story together. I knew this novel was my cup of tea when Bella (and in turn, the author) made an unashamed reference to another Venetian thriller "Don't Look Now."

The prose of the narrative was transportive, whisking the reader away to Venice's canals, landmarks and restaurants. The author's strong research is evident, as is her love for Venice, crime novels, food, sex, writing, and justice, but not necessarily in that order. The story itself is well-paced, and as labyrinthian and entertaining as the city's streets. Perhaps the real genius of the novel is the author's de novo creation of a set of Italian fairy tales, which adds just a touch of JK Rowling to the narrative.

"Dead in Venice" is a strong freshman effort, and deserves to be made available in print. I can only hope the author's sophomore one ("Dead in New York" perhaps?) is on its way to my library (also read by the talented Ms. Edwards, please). Well done, Ms. Leitch.