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The Golden Egg: (Brunetti 22) Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099584972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099584971
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Through A Glass, Darkly, Suffer the Little Children, The Girl of His Dreams, and most recently, About Face.

Product Description


"The familiar characters and Venetian location are described with remarkable freshness and, as always, the edifying result is both amusing and thought-provoking" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Leon’s impeccably plotted, utterly involving Italian-set novels (featuring the food-loving Commissario Brunetti) have rarely been less than excellent. So it proves with the latest, The Golden Egg. Involved in routine enquiries into a possible bribery case, Brunetti hears from his wife Paola of the death of an educationally-challenged man who worked at the Brunetti’s dry cleaners ... The Golden Egg is Donna Leon on top form." (The Good Book Guide)

"If there’s a writer for whom the law of diminishing returns has been revoked, it’s Donna Leon. The doyenne of Italian crime fiction, whose stamina in returning time and again to her Venetian beat is matched only by her curiosity, she has proved herself, in the space of 22 titles, not only an able detective novelist, but the author of something more substantial ... It is one of the joys of Leon’s work that she can take readers into the sinister heart of Italy, and yet, in the person of Brunetti and his companions, convince us that not all is lost." (Herald)

"The introspective Brunetti, a man with a healthy sense of the absurd and a sharp eye for the fading grandeur of the city’s architecture, makes for good company as he negotiates the perilous labyrinth of Venetian police office politics. Deceptively languid in its pace and a masterclass in mood, The Golden Egg … is a meticulously crafted example of how even the most apparently innocuous of crimes can reveal a trove of history." (Irish Times)

"All beautifully spliced together" (Evening Standard)

Book Description

The eagerly anticipated twenty-second instalment in the internationally acclaimed, bestselling Commissario Brunetti series

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Wilson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I lay my colours out first. I am a devout Leon Fan. I love Venice having discovered it, so to speak, over 20 years ago, and started Commissario Brunetti books with "Death at La Fenice" her first novel. It would be interesting, if I can find it, to read that one again and compare the two. I read her latest in just 3 days and have a problem with writing an opinion. It's a page turner for me, but would it be for someone new to the books of Leon? Somehow I don't think so. I love all the usual ingredients of all her novels - Family/Wife/Children/Food, and the city (I walk with him on his strolls through Venice), his colleagues (all of them inc Foa), and indeed, the plots, which is where I feel this one may not be a hit with newcomers (though I sincerley hope I am wrong). The plot is different, and to say more might be to give too much away, but, like characters in the book, I asked "Why are you doing this?". But bravo to Leon for trying something a bit different. I loved it, whilst still feeling an uneasy sense of being disapointed. But, needless to say, I will continue to buy while she continues to write.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Booklover on 5 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have bought every single one of Donna Leon's books but if the Golden Egg had been my introduction to her books I doubt that I would have continued to read them. It is, of course, beautifully written: she is not a professor of English (and American?) literature for nothing. But the characterisation and plots used to be complex and textured. Equally, her polemic about the inherent corruption in Italian politics, Venice and religion was always expressed in a way that was integral to the characters and plot, and thus rung true. The last few books have been thinner both literally and metaphorically. In the Golden Egg the plot is singular and hammered out with a blunt insistency. Brunetti and his colleagues, as well as Paola (his professorial wife) and children are no longer fleshed out satisfactorily: they feel two-dimensional and superficially drawn. The anti-corruption voice now just feels like a diatribe from the author herself. I am happy to wait two years in between novels, or even longer, if it means Donna Leon returning to the excellence of her earlier novels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jhanami on 8 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have loved the Brunetti series for a long time and read and enjoyed all of them.
The golden egg however is pretty tedious.
What's the matter with the characters in this book?
Brunetti has nothing to do whatsoever so he can apparently just poke around for no apparent reason all the while we have to endure his tedious reflections on really nothing much. Paola has apparently no issues with a 'retard' working in her local launderette until the man dies and she suddenly discoveres an obsessive interest in his background. Vianello and Pucetti have no relevance to the plot at all apart from introducing a younger police officer to the story line and having Vianello to blurt out half-arsed environmental statements. Signorina Elettra is getting pretty boring, and the new girl Claudio has barely a chance to develop anywhere. Apart from the pretty bizarre prayer scene that again doesn't take the plot anywhere. The Brunetti family life is so bloody repetitive and 'perfect' and pseudo-intellectual I found myself wanting to slap them and their daft word games all together round the face. It is completely obvious from the start who Davide's father was, however the formerly perfectly capable Brunetti takes his sweet time to even suspect that connection. Duh! The doctor who saw mother and son in action and was 'angry' about it saw at no point reason to get social services or the police involved in the face of the most severe neglect and child abuse. Davide himself turns out to be a massively talented artist (never mind how the heck the doctor got to have these pictures). The interval involving Pucetti and the mother is a completely useless story line. If the woman is so stupid that she can't tell DNU from DNA how come she fooled the master liar Pucetti? The whole plot is riddled with platitudes and inconsistencies. And the end is pretty unresolved, too. Bleurgh. Time for Brunetti to retire, me thinks (or at least get divorced).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
For a long time I found it difficult to relate the opening chapter to the events unfolding in this book, the twenty-second in Donna Leon’s series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. I should have had faith in the author because it becomes clear that it adds an emotional kick to what is a return to the highest standards of the author.

This harrowing and rather meditative book is unlikely to impress readers who demand complex plotting, breathtaking action or nail-biting conclusions. However, it offers a wealth of detailed characters, many of whom present different faces according to what they are seeking to achieve. This is certainly true of two of the less-familiar members of the police team who go to extreme lengths to elicit the sympathy of those involved in their investigation. Leon is unrivalled in her presentation of the interactions between police colleagues and the very diverse Venetian public.

Readers may be rather bemused if they come afresh to Brunetti and his family, his police colleagues, Signorina Elettra [who, let it be whispered, shows signs of ageing, ‘He noticed the way that her skin was pulled tighter by her hands, removing a number of years; he didn’t like having to admit that he noticed the difference.’] and the pathologist, Dr Rizzardi. Those more familiar with this cast will settle down to the conversations, walks to neighbouring bars for a drink and a bite to eat, vaporetto journeys, family meals [not so many as usual], scrollings of computer screens, leafing through reports, family chit-chats etc.

The investigation, such that it is, involves the death of a mentally-ill deaf-mute who worked in a dry-cleaner’s that Brunetti frequented.
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