From the book jacket:
On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo Santo Stefano. The killings have all the markings of a professional operation but why would anyone kill a vu cumpra
(illegal immigrant)? Once Brunetti begins to investigate this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake within the secretive society.
While his wife, Paola, struggles to come to terms with their young daughter's prejudices about the immigrants, Brunetti finds that his own police force shares many of the same biases. How far will he be able to penetrate the murky subculture of Venice's illegal community? And how high does the corruption reach into the upper echelons of Brunetti's own world and the world at large?
As critical commentary goes, a writer...
Beyond the Book
Donna Leon was born in the USA but has lived in Venice for about 25 years. Previously she lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, England, Iran and China. She says that the idea for the series came about in the early 80s when she and a friend were in a dressing room at La Fenice
(Venice's principle theatre) chatting with the conductor and his wife, and they began to talk of wanting to murder a certain conductor. Something clicked..."and since we were in a conductors dressing room, I thought hmm where, how?..."
She is a professor of English Literature at a university near Venice and also the crime reviewer for the Sunday Times newspaper (UK), and an expert on opera. She admits that the character of Brunetti's wife, Paola, is based somewhat on herself!...