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The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti #22)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,469 Ratings  ·  518 Reviews
In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor shop-keeping violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but he has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife, Paola, comes to him with a request of her own. The me ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nancy (essayist)
Apr 22, 2013 Nancy (essayist) rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Donna Leon could write a book describing nothing but what the Commissario had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I would not only read it, I would savor every word. As usual in a Brunetti novel, there is a mystery here to be solved--not even a true police case this time around--and that mystery allows Leon to share what she thinks about the state of the world. While I tend to agree with her beliefs, I read her books primarily for the characters and the glimpse into their daily lives as Veneti ...more
Blair McDowell
Apr 22, 2013 Blair McDowell rated it liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
Let me begin by saying that Donna Leon is incapable of writing a bad book. This book is well worth reading. That being said, it is not up to the standard of her other books featuring Venetian Comissario Guido Brunetti. Both the depiction of the characters and the plot itself are a shadow of Leon’s usual writing. Most of the stories in this quite phenomenal series have dealt with important socio-political-religious issues. They have represented a loving, an educated and, at times, despairing, vie ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Joyce rated it it was amazing
This may be Leon's darkest crime novel yet. They're all pretty bleak, as corruption in the government at least, is rife. But this is disturbing on a more personal level for Brunetti and for readers--the crime involves human cruelty that is more chilling than one that involves graphically described violence. I've read all in the series, and while I'm not certain this is the best, it has certainly stayed with me. Brunetti battles corruption in the police department and beyond in modern Italy, solv ...more
May 20, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Like many of the reviewers here, I LOVE Donna Leon's books, and I'm especially fond of Commissario Guido Brunetti. The author is not just a writer of mysteries; I would say her books are literary fiction structured around a mystery with lots to tell us about life. (Louise Penny is another "mystery" author who's writing just gets better and better, deeper and deeper.) Some of Leon's more recent books have been a little too structured around a here's-what's-wrong-with-the-world theme for me: the d ...more
Patrice Hoffman
Apr 05, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
I am ashamed that it has taken me so long to discover Donna Leon. I can honestly say I am a fan who is going to go out and get more books, preferably the first three, in this Commissario Brunetti series. The Golden Egg is the 22nd novel in the Brunetti series but I feel that it can be read as a standalone as well. Although I'm sure it could have only helped if I had read any of the previos books, I don't feel like anything was lacked in regards to character depth, or vivid imagery. Leon's writin ...more
Lyn Elliott
Feb 05, 2016 Lyn Elliott rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, italy
It's a while since I read a Donna Leon and I enjoyed her storytelling more than the last couple which left me with really horrible images. The fate of the young man at the centre of the mystery is awful, and the endless corruption familiar, part of the back drop of what I've come to expect of any crime novel set in Italy. It was a relief not to have people trafficking, sadistic sex and making snuff movies with this one.
Some of the scenes are overly melodramatic and some bits don't hang together
Martha Bullen
May 23, 2013 Martha Bullen rated it really liked it
Sitting down to read a new Donna Leon mystery novel is like sitting down to eat at my favorite Italian restaurant. I approach each book with anticipation and savor the memories of the Venetian setting and her appealing and very human characters, especially her hero, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his delightful family. I am never disappointed.

Leon is an American who has lived in Venice for thirty years. Her love and knowledge of the city and its inhabitants breathe through every page. I find mys
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Jun 28, 2013 Jo (Mixed Book Bag) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The Golden Egg is the latest in the Commissario Guido Burnetti Mysteries. If you are a fan of the series you will not be disappointed. If this is your first time to read a Commissario Brunetti mystery you will be a new fan.

The world of Brunetti: The series is set in Venice and each book adds another layer to the world where Brunetti lives. Donna Leon is a long time resident of the city and she brings it to vivid life.

Politics: Like previous books there are many statements about how politics wor
Jun 19, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing
"To learn this little, he had avoided his professional responsibilities for a week, and had engaged or commandeered the help of other officers of the state, all in pursuit of what was becoming to seem like nothing more than a whim." - To those already acquainted with Inspector Brunetti, this will seem typical - he ignores or gets around orders from above because they are either stupid or venial, while pursuing the human interest: in this case the death of an apparent deaf-mute.

The main story, in
Gloria Feit
Aug 19, 2013 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it

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 natu
Apr 08, 2013 Celia rated it liked it
I'm ashamed to say that it wasn't until I finished this novel that I realized that the title referred to the fable about the goose that laid golden eggs. By then, the meaning was all too clear. This is one of Donna Leon's darkest and best stories, in my opinion. Guido Brunetti pursues an unofficial investigation into the death of an apparently deaf and mute man who had no official existence. No one who knew him or about him is willing to talk. Some people tell overt lies, and many more lie by sa ...more
Angela Savage
Apr 24, 2013 Angela Savage rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
The Golden Egg is the twenty-second instalment in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series set in Venice. As someone just finishing the third book in a crime fiction series, I find it astonishing that anyone could write twenty-two (and counting). Equally impressive is the author's ongoing ability to engage, entertain and surprise in this deceptively simple, ultimately harrowing story.

Brunetti is given the official task in The Golden Egg of making enquiries into a possible bribery case that might
Biblio Files
Feb 24, 2013 Biblio Files rated it really liked it
As a longtime fan of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti mysteries, I've found her last several books to be a mixed bag. Leon doesn't stick to a rigid formula in her books and sometimes there's not even a real crime, let alone a murder. But there's always a mystery and some kind of social commentary as well. I enjoy that and catching up with Brunetti and his family.

Still, the mystery is first and foremost for me, so if it's slow to get going, I have limited patience. There was one of her recent b
Chad Sayban
Question: How can a crime novel with no crime be interesting? Answer: in this case, it can't - or at least this one doesn't. I had read the first book in this series and it was good. Unfortunately, The Golden Egg moves at a sluggish pace and creates virtually no tension or even concern. Commissario Brunetti devotes so much time to wandering around Venice and trying to solve a crime that doesn't exist, that it is difficult to imagine such a leisurely police force existing anywhere on earth. I wan ...more
Neil Plakcy
Feb 06, 2013 Neil Plakcy rated it it was amazing
I just finished THE GOLDEN EGG, by Donna Leon, my first Commissaire Brunetti novel, and I was tremendously impressed. The writing is beautiful and almost elegaic, as is the portrait of Venice Leon sketches -- a city of secrets and corruption. There's no "crime," though the story at the novel's heart is one that any moral person would find criminal or abhorrent.

I admit -- I'm one of those readers who likes to skip ahead to the end of the book and see whodunnit before finishing. But I wasn't temp
Dec 31, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
THE GOLDEN EGG. (2013). Donna Leon. ***1/2.
Here is the latest Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery from this author. What makes these books fascinating is Leon’s encyclopedic knowledge of the city of Venice. Although American born, she has lived in Venice for thirty years. She has taken advantage of all of this time to learn the city, but also the dialect of the people. In this episode, Brunetti and his wife learn of the death of a young man that they used to see doing small tasks at their local c
Sam Sattler
Apr 08, 2014 Sam Sattler rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
"The Golden Egg" serves as an introduction to me of the "Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries" and that means that I'm coming to the series very late and have no way to compare this 2013 novel to those that preceded it. That said, I will say that Brunetti is one of the more laid-back and likable police detectives that I have run into in recent memory. Of course, his leisurely pace is largely due to the fact that he is headquartered in his native Venice, Italy, a city (and a country) that moves a ...more
Apr 09, 2015 4cats rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, plan-to-read
Ah Venice, Brunetti, murder, deceit..... what more could you ask for. It amazes me the quality of the writing, Leon has been doing this for so many years, chronicling the changes in Venice and the world for many years, love her.
Oct 06, 2014 Hana rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2014-reads
Set in Venice--as are all Donna Leon's books. This is #22 in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series. They are getting predictable and formulaic but still always readable and it's a pleasure to spend an evening with Brunetti and his family.

This one was a rather sad story about the death of a young man who seems never to have existed--no passport, no birth certificate, no records at all. A clever plot with a rather shocking twist at the end that took me entirely by surprise.

Content rating: PG. Cle
Toni Osborne
Aug 04, 2013 Toni Osborne rated it it was ok
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 influenc
Apr 28, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it
Guido Brunetti is my favorite policeman, though sometimes I wonder how he can continue to work in that less-than-productive Questura. His boss is a political hack, many of his co-workers appear to be barely competent, and often his cases end in morally equivocal territory. But balancing all that are his friendships with the coroner, the boss's mysterious secretary, Vianello, Foa, Pucetti and the local baristas. Brunetti's Venice may be the most authentic setting in any detective series. And his ...more
Aug 04, 2013 Daniel rated it it was amazing
I believe I've read all books with Commissario Brunetti. Usually I find stories of the same person boring after some time. I still do not understand why this is not the case here :-).

The Golden Egg adds to this simple pleasure of reading a really good story. I like especially how characters are described with attitudes that are really evil if you think about it out of the context of the story but inside the story they do not get simply accused but objectively described with their context.
Margaret Wichorek
May 03, 2015 Margaret Wichorek rated it really liked it
I love this series, which is set in Venice, and features Commissario Brunetti. This case starts with the death of a deaf, mentally handicapped man, who worked in a nearby dry cleaners. He died from an overdose of sleeping pills, an it was deemed an accident. Brunetti is also working on a case involving a wealthy family and, somehow the two cases become linked. This is quite a sad story, very moving and one of Leon's best.
Jun 04, 2013 Mackay rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Commissario Brunetti is always a pleasure to spend time with. As always, this book is less about the mystery that places it on that genre shelf than it is about the small, more important things like family, friendship, and how people get along in this world. That aspect of Leon's books is probably what draws me to her--the crimes are often non-violent, the people are always realistic and three-dimensional, and the setting (Venice) is portrayed with clear-eyed love.

This particular story is a sad
Dec 03, 2015 Johanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rather grim outing for the Commissario this time, this felt very bleak. Not so much a police procedural as a grim investigation into the dark heart of humans. I liked it but it was a tough read really. Leon's novels are always rooted in reality but I have no idea quite what terrible tale lead her to this.
Apr 23, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it
One of my favorite authors; I have read all of the books in this series. This one was slower, taking a long time for the mystery to come together so it was a slow book. Leon took more time developing the characters of Pucetti, the young policeman, and the other Commisario Griffoni. She took a long time developing the character of the perpetrator which seemed to remain out of reach until the end because no one would talk about it. Italy and Venice as always are main characters as are the differen ...more
J.J. Zerr
Apr 22, 2013 J.J. Zerr rated it really liked it
A couple of years ago, my wife and I were going to visit Venice. "Get a Donna Leon book," a friend said. I read three before the trip and all of them since and anxiously await the launch of a new one each year. If you are looking for train crashes, bombs bursting in air, major mayhem, you should search elsewhere. But for a delicate and deft treatment of a society with corruption just enough under control that God withholds another dose of fire and brimstone, read her books. The Golden Egg can be ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
A lot of things to think about in this book, more than usual I thought. I also love having the map to refer to so I don't have to read with a laptop.
Dana Clinton
Dec 04, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it
As usual, when I am feeling pressured and just need some good escape reading, I take on a cozy mystery. Last summer (or was it the summer before, goodness I no longer remember.....) I began Donna Leon's series of Inspector Brunetti mysteries and read about 20 of them. Still a couple to go. This latest, The Golden Egg (hmm, remember that one kills the goose to get the golden egg.... think about that as you read along...) seemed to me a bit muddled in places, but still quite intriguing and satisfy ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Kerrie rated it really liked it
I've followed the novels of Donna Leon closely over the last two decades, but I don't think any of them have ever left me with such a feeling of sadness that THE GOLDEN EGG has.

Set in Venice, the novels have come to explore the issues of living in modern day Venice against the background of a crime, often a murder. Some of those issues get passing mention in this novel such as corruption amongst city officials and the effects of cheap imports on the Venetian economy.

At the beginning of this nove
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Donna Leon (born September 29, 1942, in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for over twenty-five years. She has worked as a lecturer in English Literature for the University of Maryland University College - Europe (UMUC-Europe) in Italy, then as a Professor
More about Donna Leon...

Other Books in the Series

Commissario Brunetti (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)
  • Death in a Strange Country (Commissario Brunetti, #2)
  • Dressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti, #3)
  • Death and Judgment (Commissario Brunetti, #4)
  • Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5)
  • Quietly in Their Sleep (Commissario Brunetti, #6)
  • A Noble Radiance (Commissario Brunetti, #7)
  • Fatal Remedies (Commissario Brunetti, #8)
  • Friends in High Places (Commissario Brunetti, #9)
  • A Sea of Troubles (Commissario Brunetti, #10)

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