Killer Nashville Book of the Day

“Falling In Love” by Donna Leon / Reviewed by Kate Proffitt

Purchase “Falling in Love” or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate,*

Donna Leon Credit: Regine Mosimann
Donna Leon
Credit: Regine Mosimann

A dozen bouquets of yellow roses. A world-renowned opera singer. An overly obsessive fan. What could go wrong?

In Donna Leon’s thrilling novel “Falling in Love”, the real 19th Century action occurs behind the curtain. As the twenty-fourth novel in the previously acclaimed Commissario Guido Brunetti series, readers will not be disappointed. Whether you’ve solved cases with Brunetti from the start or are a first time guest, this book will hold you spellbound with your heart racing in overwhelming intensity.

As the finest Venetian opera singer, Flavia Petrelli is used to fans fawning over her voice and giving her presents, but lately her fans have been acting particularly…extreme with their gifts. One fan, in particular, has gone a little overboard, attending every performance and showering Flavia with yellow roses.

There are roses everywhere, so much so that Petrelli begins to dread their appearance. They’re on the stage, in her dressing room, left in the lobby theatre. Always roses. Always yellow. Always unsettling.

The thick smell of roses hangs heavily in the air and turns Flavia’s stomach with fear. When the singer comes home one night to find dozens of yellow roses strewn across her apartment, she decides it’s time to enlist the help of Venice’s beloved Commissario Guido Brunetti, if only to be reassured that she is overreacting.

While the detective attempts to locate the exuberant admirer, Flavia continues to perform, making sure the show goes on no matter what. In taking the time to greet every fan to being trapped in a constant state of paranoia upon leaving her apartment, Flavia expresses her emotions through her powerful voice.

When the curtains come to a close at the conclusion of Tosca at La Fenice opera house, the roaring applause of the standing crowd is the furthest thing from lead soprano Flavia’s mind. She compliments another aspiring opera singer, who days earlier was tossed down a flight of stone steps, which caused Commissario Brunetti – and Flavia – to begin to take the case more seriously.

This giver of roses is no ordinary fan, but someone who has his/her sights on Flavia, and anyone who stands in the way. As Flavia’s stalker grows more obsessive, Brunetti begins to fear for the opera star’s life. He is determined to solve this case before it’s too late, but the longer it takes to find the stalker, the more aggressive the fan becomes.

From the glittering lights of the stage to the murky alleys of Venice, this book overflows with anticipation, along with the rich beauty and history of Venetian life that exemplifies the extraordinary power of music.

This book will grab you from the first page, keep you on the edge of your seat, and leave you breathless while yearning for more, as if you’ve just witnessed a spectacularly powerful performance at the opera.

Kate Proffitt is a creative writing major, who loves to read and write! Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors is her favorite band, Christina Rossetti is her favorite poet, and she drinks a lot more Diet Coke than she should. She also enjoys travelling and has spent some time in Europe! Kate is currently working on her first unpublished novel! 

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Meaghan Hill, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at and

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