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

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.

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 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.

Reviews

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If there’s a writer for whom the law of diminishing returns has been revoked, it’s Donna Leon.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

The Golden Egg is Donna Leon on top form.

Good Book Guide

The descriptions of Venice and Venetian life are beautifully written and acutely observed … The author clearly has an excellent understanding of the Italian psyche and a profound knowledge of Venice and Venetian life. This is the 22nd book in Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series and I can’t wait for the 23rd.

Crimereview

[T]his is a much darker version of Brunetti-land than the earlier novels…The character of the deaf mutes seems to serve as an allegory of the political landscape of Italy – the public silenced and ignored, whilst those in power continue the ancient Italian tradition of fiddle-playing.

The Lady

The descriptions of Venice and Venetian life are beautifully written and acutely observed … The author clearly has an excellent understanding of the Italian psyche and a profound knowledge of Venice and Venetian life. This is the 22nd book in Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series and I can’t wait for the 23rd.

Crimereview

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099584971

    May 1, 2014

    Arrow

    352 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook

    9781448164905

    April 4, 2013

    Cornerstone Digital

    352 pages

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