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The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti, #22) - Donna Leon

The Golden Egg is the 22nd outing for Commissario Guido Brunetti and finds him looking into the death of a deaf mute man who worked in the launderette Brunetti frequents. As he investigates he finds people closing ranks, comes into contact with a wealthy family beset with tragedy, and discovers that the dead man does not appear to exist..


There is a wonderful sense of anticipation when a new installment of a much loved series is published. It’s almost the reader equivalent of waiting for Christmas. I love Donna Leon’s Brunetti and eagerly look forward to a new tale involving him, Vianello, Signorina Elettra and the rest of the Brunetti clan. It’s almost like being part of the family and indeed a lot of the narrative relates to many lunches and dinners the Brunettis’ partake of, the family bond and meal time discussions an important part of making the Commissario the person he is.


The Golden Egg continued in the vein of great stories from Donna Leon. I enjoyed catching up with the recurring characters and seeing them develop, particularly Pucetti who develops his own detective skills under the watchful and encouraging eye of Brunetti. It is even a pleasure to welcome back those characters we are supposed to hate, Patta and Scarpa and as always the location of Venice is enticing.


A common element of these books  is that there is not always a neat and tidy conclusion. Sometimes there isn’t even a crime at all, or at least the only crime committed is a moral rather than a legal one. Sometimes killers go free, criminals go unpunished and Brunetti is left with the determination to do all that he can with the next case.  But this is also what appeals, life is not always black and white, sometimes people go unpunished and those in power or with money can extricate themselves from blame. These books are more than just crime dramas, they are treatises on politics, society and power and add all the more to the appeal of them.


I look forward to reading the next Brunetti book, By It’s Cover, hopefully sooner rather than later.