On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo San Stefano. The closest witnesses are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death-fake handbags of every designer label. The dead man had been working as a vu cumpra, one of the many African immigrants purveying goods outside normal shop hours and without work permits. Commissario Brunetti's response is that of everybody involved: Why would anyone kill an illegal immigrant? Once Brunetti begins to investigate this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake. Warned by Patta, his supervisor, to resist further involvement in the case, how far will Brunetti be able to penetrate the murky subculture of Venice's illegal community?
American author, Donna Leon, has settled nicely into a series of crime novels set in Venice, Italy entitled, Brunettixote. The novels feature the fictional character of Commissario Guido Brunetti.
Leon was born in 1942, and eventually lived in Venice, Italy for over 30 years. She was an English literature lecturer for the University of Maryland in Europe (Italy), and worked on a military base in Italy for several years, before she became a full time writer. She moved to Zurich, Switzerland, and also had a home in a smaller Swiss village.
The novels have been translated from English into several foreign languages, but for some reason the author did not approve them being translated into Italian. German television has shown 22 Commissario Brunetti episodes that they produced for broadcast.
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