On a cold Venetian night shortly before Christmas, a street vendor is killed in a scuffle in Campo Santo Stefano. The dead man had been working as a vu cumpra, one of the many African immigrants peddling goods outside normal shop hours and trading without work ermits. Commissario Brunetti's response is: Why would anyone kill an illegal immigrant? Because these workers have few social connections and little money, infighting seems to be the answer. And yet the killings have all the markings of a professional operation.