The Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 mentally handicapped man who worked at their dry cleaner has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him.Brunetti begins to investigate the death and is surprised when he finds nothing on the man: no birth certificate, no passport, no driver’s license, no credit cards. As far as the Italian government is concerned, he never existed. Stranger still, the dead man’s mother refuses to speak to the police, and assures Brunetti that her son’s identification papers were stolen in a burglary. As secrets unravel, Brunetti suspects that the Lembos, an aristocratic family, might be somehow connected to the death. But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?
This is the 22nd book in Donna Leon’s series of bestselling murder mysteries set in modern-day Venice. I’ve read many of the books in the series, loving the setting (of course!) and her characters, particularly the clever, quiet, thoughtful Venetian policeman Guido Brunetti and his literature-loving wife, and the wonderful meals she conjures up.
Donna Leon’s mysteries are deceptively slow and simple, yet they always present a tricky puzzle, acute pyschological insight, and philosophical musings that avoid black-and-white morality. She does not always deliver neat justice, which can sometimes be frustrating, but this definitely makes the books more authentic in a modern-day Italy riven by scandal and corription.
The Golden Egg centres on the death of a deaf-mute man from an overdose of sleeping pills. At first Brunetti assumes it is an accidental overdose, but some odd inconsistencies in the case set off alarm bells and he soon realises he is investigating a particularly cruel murder.