When an immigrant dies on a Venice street, it will take a determined detective to pursue the case to its shocking end: "[An] outstanding series." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death—fake handbags of every designer label.
The dead man was one of the many African immigrants purveying goods outside normal shop hours and trading without a work permit. Once Commissario Guido Brunetti begins to investigate this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the secretive society. And his boss's warning to avoid getting involved only makes Brunetti more determined to unearth the truth behind this mysterious killing.
"The appeal of Guido Brunetti, the hero of Donna Leon's long-running Venetian crime series, comes not from his shrewdness, though he is plenty shrewd, nor from his quick wit. It comes, instead, from his role as an Everyman . . . [his life is] not so different from our own days at the office or nights around the dinner table. Crime fiction for those willing to grapple with, rather than escape, the uncertainties of daily life." —Booklist