Over the years, the bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has conquered the hearts of mystery lovers all over the world. Brunetti is both a perceptive investigator and a principled family man, and through him, Leon has explored Venice in all its aspects: its history, beauty, food, and social life, but also its crime and corruption. In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor 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 cleaners 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. To please his wife, Brunetti investigates the death, and is surprised to find 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. And yet, there is the body. As secrets unravel, Brunetti suspects an aristocratic family might be somehow connected to the death. But why would anyone want this sweet, simple-minded man dead?
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