When commissioner Brunetti's wife's college student Claudia Leonardo asks his help to see if an innocently convicted 'war criminal' can be rehabilitated, he refers her to a barrister. When she's murdered, he investigates. It turns out her grandmother asked her to help clear the case of her husband, convicted for trading in war crime-obtained paintings. The case involves fake documents and political links over generations, as well as family ties going up to the 'pretore', the very old chief of police. Meanwhile the vice-pretore is enchanted by a new, female commissioner, of 'good stock', and allegedly an expert in far eastern methods, albeit little more then feng-shui.