The Golden Egg (Guido Brunetti Series #22)

The Golden Egg (Guido Brunetti Series #22)

4.0 27
by Donna Leon
     
 

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Over the years, Donna Leon's best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has conquered the hearts of lovers of finely-plotted character-driven mysteries all over the world. Brunetti, both a perceptive sleuth and a principled family man, has exposed readers to Venice in all its aspects: its history, beauty, architecture, seasons, food, and social life, but

Overview


Over the years, Donna Leon's best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has conquered the hearts of lovers of finely-plotted character-driven mysteries all over the world. Brunetti, both a perceptive sleuth and a principled family man, has exposed readers to Venice in all its aspects: its history, beauty, architecture, seasons, food, and social life, but also the crime and corruption that seethe below the surface of La Serenissima.

In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Commissario Guido Brunetti’s wife Paola comes to him with a request. The mentally handicapped man who worked at their dry clearers has suffered a fatal sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing or helping him. To please her, Brunetti investigates the death and is surprised to find nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. And yet, there is a body. As secrets unravel, Brunetti suspects an aristocratic family might be connected to the case. But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[An] unusually reflective detective story.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Appreciative of feminine charms, the deeply uxorious Brunetti amply displays the keen intelligence and wry humor that has endeared this series to so many.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Readers] will savor the pleasures of dialogue as elliptical in its way as Henry James and a retrospective shock when they finally appreciate the import of the tale’s unobtrusive opening scene and its sly title.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Rating: A."—Deadly Pleasures

Publishers Weekly
Commissario Guido Brunetti, out of a sense of guilt and at the urging of his compassionate wife, investigates the suspicious death of a disabled man, Davide Cavanella, in Leon’s intriguing 22nd mystery featuring the crafty Venetian police inspector (after 2012’s Beastly Things). Davide’s mother is unwilling to discuss his death. Worse, there’s no official evidence of Davide’s existence: he apparently was never born and never went to school, saw a doctor, or received a passport. The colorful locals are uncooperative. Brunetti’s understanding of the Venetian bureaucracy, which operates smoothly on bribery and familial connections, allows his subordinates to enlist the help of various aunts and cousins, as is neatly shown in a subplot involving the mayor and his son. Appreciative of feminine charms, the deeply uxorious Brunetti amply displays the keen intelligence and wry humor that has endeared this series to so many. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Leon fans will welcome the newest entry (after Beastly Things) in her superb series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, Venetian police officer extraordinaire. Interwoven among Leon’s seductive cameos of Venetian life, the plot is especially compelling. Paola, Brunetti’s wife, implores him to investigate a case that hits close to home—the tragic death of the visibly deaf, dumb, and retarded man who was a fixture in the local dry cleaning shop. To complicate matters, there is no official trace of the man’s (commonly referred to as “the boy”) existence. In the end, of course, Brunetti arrives at the subtle, sad conclusion that will move readers.

Verdict Leon delivers an intricate plot couched in spare, Hemingwayesque prose. Her elegant, masterly use of language captures perfectly the quality and pace of life in Venice. Readers will particularly savor the long, leisurely, enticing lunches enjoyed by Venetians, and Brunetti’s numerous breaks in cafés will elicit envy from espresso aficionados. A sine qua non for Leon fans who also enjoy Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series.—Lynne Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Commissario Guido Brunetti, the second-sharpest member of the Venetian Questura, investigates the death of a man who barely had a life to begin with. Brunetti's wife, Paola Falier, rarely intrudes into his professional life, but she can't help being distraught at the death of the boy who helps out at her dry cleaner's, even though he's not a boy--he turns out to be over 40--and she doesn't know his name. Davide Cavanella, a deaf-mute who may have been mentally disabled as well, apparently swallowed a handful of sleeping pills because they looked like candy, then choked in his own vomit. More interesting than any questions about his death, however, are questions about Davide's life. Why has this obviously disabled person never made a claim on any of the government programs designed to help him? For that matter, why has he left no paper trail at all? Brunetti (Beastly Things, 2012, etc.) doesn't believe Ana Cavanella's story that her son's papers were stolen years ago, but he's brought up short by the alternative: that there never was any official record of his existence. Aided by Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta's subversive secretary, Signora Elettra Zorzi, the sharpest mind in the Questura, Brunetti turns over all the stones of Venice in his search for Davide's roots. The clues that link the dead man to the wealthy Lembo family won't surprise readers familiar with the pervasive corruption Leon's unearthed in Venice past and present (The Jewels of Paradise, 2012). But they'll savor the pleasures of dialogue as elliptical in its way as Henry James and a retrospective shock when they finally appreciate the import of the tale's unobtrusive opening scene and its sly title.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802122421
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/18/2014
Series:
Guido Brunetti Series , #22
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
169,386
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and has lived in Venice for thirty years.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Venice, Italy
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1942
Place of Birth:
Montclair, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

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The Golden Egg 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
MayaMA More than 1 year ago
Like all the Brunetti books, this is billed as a mystery, but it is not so much as mystery as a meditation on language. It opens with the Brunetti family playing a game at dinner using language and ends a non-conversation with the suspect. In between the two is the death of a deaf mute man. I think this is best Donna Leon is a while. Her stories, which she said in a reading I went to, are triggered by things she reads in the paper, are unconventional mysterties. Yes, there is a police investigation, but it rarely ends in arrest. One is left instead to consider the consequenses of what happened and the suspect is left to live with (or in some cases not) the knowledge of what they did. The stories reflect the uncertainty of our time. We want certainty but often don't get it. This is another beautifully craft book by Leon. I hope she keeps writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan and have read all of the Brunetti books.. I love the character and the description of Venice, the family and wonderful meals.. very enjoyable. The main character has such heart.. and intelligence. I appreciate his sensitivity.. and the mystery as it unfolds is realistic.. and in that way not formula and completely satisfying to me. There is even humor like life has its ups and downs so does Brunetti. All of the characters are very realistic.. and similar to people I have known. I would recommend this for a book club discussion.. It is a case study beginning to end with sidebars getting to know other aspects of the characters lives. The setting is always colorful.. but is also steady and REAListic..
bookloverPBC More than 1 year ago
Another Inspector Brunetti! Guido's life in Venice with Paola and two almost adult children always give insights into humanity. The relationships within the family and also at the workplace are filled with experiences we all face. This particular book showed "inhumanity and just desserts."
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
It is no mean feat to sustain a mystery series at this high a level through 18 novels. Of course, that is just what Donna Leon has accomplished, and more (this is the 19th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery). Of course, "The Golden Egg” features that charming and erudite Venetian detective in a tale that begins with the death of a mentally challenged deaf mute who works in a tailor shop frequented by Brunetti’s wife, Paola. She goads Brunetti into looking into the death, which appears to be natural. At the same time, Brunetti’s boss timidly asks him to look into whether or not the mayor’s son’s fiancée, part owner of a store, is evading taxes or paying bribes to tax officials. The mayor, of course, is running for reelection and could do without any embarrassing revelations. The Commissario solves this one quickly and smoothly, but spends the entire novel on the other investigation, which becomes more complicated with every interview, no part of which is an official inquiry. The charm of Brunetti’s home life, his relationship with his wife, daughter and son are always plusses in the books that make up this series. Unlike most others, the central theme of this novel is not a serious issue, but a personal, subtle one. Written with the usual depth of knowledge about Venice, its allure and atmosphere, the novel is recommended.
Sandyb50 More than 1 year ago
I am not sure if I like the plots of Ms. Leon's books the most, or if it is the feeling of reconnecting with an old friend in the Brunetti family that makes these books so addictive. I cannot remember how long ago I first started reading the Guido Brunetti series, but it seems like only yesterday... The counterpoint between the Mayor's "problem" and the death of the man no one really knew is exceptional, as it is in all of these books. The warmth of the Brunetti family never seems forced, and serves as a balance to the venality of other characters. Read this series in order so that you can discover the development of the Brunetti family, but whatever you do, read these books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Donna Leon's work a lot: intelligent, warm, well-crafted. Her latest is a little different, not your traditional mystery novel somehow, but she can get away with it. Good thing she can; it's her best so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed that David Collaci isn't the reader for Leon's new audio. Not enjoying it much so far. The new narrator has a much-too- heavy British accent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like most of Donna Leon's novels, The Golden Egg, is a most enjoyable story. Not only is Guido Brunetti an interesting character but the reader gets insight into the uniqueness of Venice. I can't wait for the next Leon novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly one of her best in this series.
dicken--15--dog More than 1 year ago
Of all the Donna Leone books I have read, I found this one the most poiniant. I didn't see a connection to the title, though. The ending was very satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Detective Brunetti Is Back. Ms. Leon's Detective Brunetti series is always so enjoyable. As soon as the latest book is out, I am reading it. The latest book has the detective questioning the death of a deaf man. I love how Ms. Leon makes the detective not only a policeman but a philosopher. He is compassionate and so thoughtful of his co workers, family and the people involved in the investigation. Guido Brunettis is foremost a detective but one with intelligence. Sorry to wait another year for the next Detective Guido Brunetti book. Thank you Ms. Leon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brunetti is losing his voice. Donna Leon is coming on too strong and drowning out her character. Preachy and a bit boring.
ebooks18 More than 1 year ago
Donna Leon never disappoints. Another wonderful Brunetti novel.
donxtheWay More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I've realized the detective Guido is a practicing social psychologist. His method will travel through time and history in ways that reveal the fabric of the world around him to allow the discovery of that which does not agree with the plain facts. Surprise will abound as we are involved in the solution to the crime (in as much as our opinion matters to the rights and wrongs of culture). Always a pleasure to visit Venice Italy w/Dona Leone as our guide.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as I other books
Dorothy Drake More than 1 year ago
Leon gives Guido two puzzles to solve but I found the more absorbing to be the one brought to him by his wife Paola. At first it seems pretty cut and dried but odd facts stand out and soon he is involving not only Paola but the women in the office as well has a young policeman who can charm anyone. The strands of the mystery begin to come together and the result is a shocker. unfortunately showing us once again how cruel people can be. I would not read Leon as a steady diet for the very reason that her books focus on the corruption and cruelty in the society she write about. One needs hope and a belief in the goodness of people.
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Just read the latest and agree is getting too much into the corruption of the city and country. She might try visiting somewhere else on vacation with a murder and he can help out with the Italian suspects how about england or better yet Norway and that town by the artic circle with the polar bears in the suburbs someone needs a sabbatical
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
POST NOOK. Ugh.
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