On a cold night shortly before Christmas, an immigrant street vendor is killed in Venice's Campo Santo Stefano. The nearest witnesses to the event are the tourists who had been browsing the man's wares before his death - fake handbags of every designer label - but they have seen nothing that might be of much help to the police.
When Commissario Brunetti arrives on the scene, he finds it hard to understand why anyone would murder an illegal immigrant. They have few social connections and little money; in-fighting among them is the obvious answer. But once Brunetti begins investigating this unfamiliar Venetian underworld, he discovers that matters of great value are at stake in the immigrant community...
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
Leon writes with great literary panache and evocative power about the world's most beautiful and mysterious city
Donna Leon has a wonderful feel for the hidden evils that lie below the façade of the magical city, and Brunetti, sturdy family man and cynic, is an endearing guide into the machinations of Italian society
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
The fabulous Donna Leon