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

4.3 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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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 (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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"If there’s a writer for whom the law of diminishing returns has been revoked, it’s Donna Leon.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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether it is complacency on my part or on that of Ms Leon I feel something missing from her last two or three novels. Firstly we have lost much of the Brunetti family life in recent books that we all loved and in particular details of his eating habits! This story dragged on and on. He appeared to have no other cases to occupy this senior officer but this one and that, not even officially. Dissapointing
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers before me I have read all of the Brunetti novels and admire Donna Leon, thanking her for hours of pleasure over the years.
This tale, The Golden Egg, however, disappoints: it is slack, with not an ounce (or gram) of tension. Even the splendid backdrop of Venice is having an dull day.
And am I the only one that is starting to find Brunetti's utopian home life irksome?; it is an opportunity missed by Donna Leon to introduce parallel plotting tensions rather than serving up the bland contrast of total harmony and bourgeois comforts.
Furthermore, description of dress is not enough to create character.
Even the furbo senora Elettra, my favourite of Leon's creations is, here, pedestrian.
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Format: Hardcover
"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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