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The Golden Egg: (Brunetti) [Hardcover]

Donna Leon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
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Book Description

4 April 2013 Brunetti (Book 22)

Twenty-one years ago, when a conductor was poisoned and the Questura sent a man to investigate, readers first met Commissario Guido Brunetti. Since 1992's Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon and her shrewd, sophisticated, and compassionate investigator have been delighting readers around the world. For her millions of fans, Leon's novels have opened a window into the private Venice of her citizens, a world of incomparable beauty, family intimacy, shocking crime, and insidious corruption. This internationally acclaimed, bestselling series is widely considered one of the best ever written, and William Heinemann is thrilled to be publishing the twenty-second installment, The Golden Egg, in April 2013.

When making routine enquiries into a possible bribery case that could embarrass the mayor - a humiliation Vice-Questore Patta is very keen to avoid - Commissario Brunetti receives a call from his wife, Paola, who is evidently very upset. The middle-aged deaf mute with the mental age of a child who helped out at the Brunetti's dry cleaners has been found dead - an 'accidental' overdose of his mother's sleeping pills - and for some reason Paola is distraught by the news. To the neighbourhood he was just the 'boy' who helped out, but nobody knew much about him - not even his name. That a soul could have lived such a joyless life is too much for Paola to bear, and she asks Guido if he can find out what happened.

It is a surprise to Brunetti just how little was known about this man-child - there are no official records to show he even existed. The man's mother is angry and contradictory when questioned about his death, and Brunetti senses that there much more to the story than she is willing to tell. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, perhaps Brunetti can get to the truth and find some measure of solace.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann; First Printing edition (4 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0434022519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434022519
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,583 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)

"Donna Leon is better than ever.Superb." (WI Life)

Book Description

Celebrated by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, Donna Leon brings Venice to life in the twenty-second Brunetti novel of this bestselling series, where our detective must uncover the mystery surrounding a mute man's murder.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would rather wait for something better 5 May 2013
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another welcomed Leon: Brunetti to the rescue 28 Mar 2013
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
"But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?" we are asked. But, after some persuasion on behalf of his dear wife Paola, Commissario Guido Brunetti sets his sights on solving one of Donna Leon's best mysteries! In "The Golden Egg," Leon's latest in her outstanding series, we find nothing to disappoint us.

I received my copy earlier today and in one sitting--and one fell swoop--I read all 276 pages. I couldn't contain myself (my only complaint is that now I'll have to wait another year for the next Leon installment!).

At any rate Leon's conundrum (which makes it Brunetti's) is that a "nobody" is found dead--well, nobody of high Venetian stature: he's only a mentally handicapped man who works at the dry cleaners--the usually bureaucracy of the Venice police is content simply to shelve the case and either hope for a miracle to solve it, or simply to forget about it anyway.

Alas, not so with Brunetti. Leon keeps his family, his on-going struggle with Vice Questore Patta, his working relationship with the brilliant Signorina Elletra, the pervasive corruption of the Italian constabularly--nothing new here, but she's able to sustain our interest with no trouble all all. Leon's prose style moves rapidly but with great depth, of character and of social significance. And these are only some of the reasons that Leon's series is so worthwhile, so readable, so exciting to follow. In her Brunetti (and his family and co-workers) Leon has created characters we care about. Coupled with the immense skill of "crime solving" that the Commissario has and Leon's penchant for delivering an excellent story, readers get, well, ANOTHER Leon. It continues to amaze me how she is able to sustain this series. In this, the 22nd Brunetti, we are not disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Beat 4 Aug 2013
Book 22, in the Commissario Brunetti series

First I admit being a huge fan of this series but after reading this latest I am really not sure what to make out of it. "The Golden Egg" unfolds in such a languorous manner and keeps the same slow pace throughout I felt I had taken a sleeping pill and waiting for the knockout (ouch). IMO it is too quiet with very little drama, definitely not MS. Leon's standard, it seemed as if the penmanship may have come from a different stroke.....or strongly influenced by the works of the Queen of Crime....very predictable, always the same old beat....

This detective story centers on the life and death of a young man who was never heard to speak and never existed, a man with no identity. As Brunetti tries to find out the basics about him, he takes to the streets and canals of Venice for answers. He probes various people and faces the political mire and hopeless Italian bureaucracy along the way. His sharp-tongued wife Paula and the children play a prominent part that provides a bit of flavour to this mystery.

This series has never been action packed but this one is more ponderous than many of the previous novels. Brunetti is a thoughtful man, not given to hasty decisions or dramatic gestures and his language is overly correct.....he is definitely not the typical detective found these days.

After 22 books it may be time to put Guido Brunetti and Paulo and the rest of the cast to pasture.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mans inhumanity to man 26 April 2013
Look at the cover first and see what looks like a baby trusting and loving his mother. And then look at the Mother and after reading this book, make your own mind up as to what that mother is thinking. This book will stay long in the memory , not going to include any plot in this review as you have to read it and feel the emotion the book gives you. It is not actually a crime novel, more a look at human frailities. A tad too much description of why characters are speaking the way they do. But overall one of Donna Leon best
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars felt a bit tired 10 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rather than get more convincing the characterisation got more superficial and formulaic. The plot w was thin. But enjoyable yarn
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Donna Leon:The Golden Egg 22 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading. My first book on Kindle!! I did not feel it matched earlier novels in terms of plot or involvement with characters. Less 'memorable' than others.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest Donna Leon Book
I thougt this was Donna Leon at her best - drescriptions, unusual storyline. Perfect, thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to her next book.
Published 4 days ago by Joan Delamore
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Brunetti
I'm a dyed in the wool fan of Donna Leon's writing since her very first Brunetti, Death at La Fenice in 1992. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Mae Gregory
3.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Egg
I like Donna Leon's Brunetti books very much but this one lacked something - excitement , interaction, humour ? Sadly just a bit flat.
Published 6 days ago by MRS
3.0 out of 5 stars golden egg.
This story was not as interesting as many of Donna Leon's book. It hardly touched on the fact he was a policeman and he had far too much time to spend on this episode which wasn't... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Hilary Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars Another delight from Donna Leon
delightfully written - glimpsing the life of Venice and the perspectives of venetians within an intriguing tale that holds the reader's attention thoroughly
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the best in the series
This is a melancholy story, recounted with Leon's customary insights into the darker aspects of human motivation. Brunetti is as always well drawn, as is his Venetian setting. Read more
Published 11 days ago by SueEllen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
As ever Inspector Brunetti does not disappoint. His philosophy delights me and his colleagues and family feel like old friends
Published 11 days ago by J. Lewin
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather thin
A young man with learning difficulties dies and it appears that he didn't exist - no birth certificate, social security no., schooling etc.. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Elaine Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and completely involving with an excellent revelation.
First Sentence: It was a peaceful night at the Brunetti home, and dinner progressed in harmony

Comm. Read more
Published 15 days ago by L. J. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best Brunetti series
gentle, humerous and touching one of the best ever. This writer just keeps getting better. If you haven't discovered Brunetti yet, please try soon.
Published 18 days ago by Mrs M S Ellis
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