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On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a man 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. Officially termed a venditore ambulante or extracomunitario, the dead man was working as a vu cumpra, one of the many Black Africans purveying goods outside normal shop hours and without work permits. Arriving on the scene, Commissario Brunetti's response matches that of everybody involved- why would anyone kill a vu cumpra? With few social connections and little money, in-fighting amongst these workers is the obvious answer. But once Brunetti begins investigating this Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the immigrant society. Warned by Patta, his superior, to resist further involvement in the case, Brunetti only becomes more determined to unearth the truth behind this mysterious killing. However, reluctant as he is to let this event be smugly relegated to the category of 'not worth dealing with', how far will Brunetti be able to penetrate the murky subculture of Venice's illegal community?
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The stunning fourteenth Commissario Brunetti mystery takes our detective into a world of illegal immigrants and diamond smuggling, from bestselling crime writer Donna Leon.

About the Author

Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers. She is an award-winning crime novelist, celebrated for the bestselling Brunetti series. Donna has lived in Venice for thirty years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Donna's books have been translated into 35 languages and have been published around the world. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Fatal Remedies, Doctored Evidence, A Sea of Troubles and Beastly Things.

Reviews

"The thoughtful and charming [Brunetti] is on top form . . . His nicely balanced world . . . is cumulatively engrossing. In this domestic detail, Leon roots the power of the ordinary, moral individual" * Sunday Times * "Leon writes with great literary panache and evocative power about the world's most beautiful and mysterious city" * Spectator * "Donna Leon has a wonderful feel for the hidden evils that lie below the facade of the magical city, and Brunetti, sturdy family man and cynic, is an endearing guide into the machinations of Italian society" * The Times * "It would be simply perverse not to acknowledge [Leon's] skill . . . The reader comes to look forward to Paola's elegant Venetian lunches as much as Brunetti does . . . The plot of Blood from a Stone both stands up to and complements the cast . . . Comfort reading of the highest order" * TLS * "The fabulous Donna Leon" -- Antonia Fraser * Spectator *

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