The Golden Egg is another fine novel by Donna Leon. This thoughtful novel rewards slow, careful reading — don’t expect a fast-paced thriller here. As is usual in Leon’s books, the city of Venice (where Leon lives) is one of the characters. It’s a novel of mood and character more than plot. The reader can savor Leon’s observational powers and the politics of Venice simultaneously. In a sense this is a police procedural, focusing on Commissario Guido Brunetti as in most (all?) of Leon’s books. But in another sense it’s a mainstream novel about the human condition. It helps if you have some familiarity with Italy. Reading the earlier books in the series will add a deeper level of appreciation, but it’s certainly not a necessity. Read The Cuckoo’s Egg anyway!