Random House, Inc. Early on summer mornings, police chief Bruno enjoys wandering the stalls of the weekly market in the village of St. Denis as they are being loaded with wares—ducks, oysters, wooden toys, used books, exotic teas and now, even miniskirts and cellphone cases. St. Denis is changing.
But when Bruno’s old friend Léopold from Senegal and his young nephew Cali start selling African coffee and chocolate more cheaply than Bruno’s old friend Fauquet at his café across the square—Fauquet starts to lose his clientele and a competition erupts between the vendors. As a local taxpayer, Fauquet seeks protection against unfair competition while Leopold and Cali seek the right to do business fairly and protection from the anti-immigrant café-owners in nearby towns. As the rivalry escalates, it’s up to Bruno to find a way for the neighbors of St. Denis to make peace.