Third in the Salvo Montalbano Italian police procedural series. Once again Salvo manages to be offensive to almost everyone while investigating the murder of an elderly man in an elevator. When he learns it is at least peripherally related to an international case in which a man was shot on a fishing boat, he's like a pit bull that won't let go as he manipulates the stupid secret service and his superiors into dropping the answers he needs into his lap. Also with some serious personal conflicts and things to go through, Salvo spends time soul searching and consuming various gustatory delights along the way as well. Enjoyable as always--don't know how such an ornery cuss manages to be so likable, but like him I do!
Another great Montalbano mystery. Every book has not only a great story, but also gives a vivid portrait of life on the great island of Sicily. Also a treat in this book is a more in depth look into Montalbano's personality and past family life.
This Inspector is so human -- Cynical of authority, saying the wrong things to his girlfriend, dealing with grief, all while figuring out unlikely connections and setting traps to solve the mystery. And, all the while verbally detailing Sicilian meals and recipes that make your mouth water while you follow along with his joy of food . . . reminds me of John Sandfords' early Delaney books in that way.
Having watched RAI's Montalbano television series (with Luca Zingaretti's outstanding performances as the eccentric inspector), I was expecting to find the novels familiar and boring. Not at all, not in the least. The TV series excel in giving us the visual feel of the exteriors: the superb cast of delightful characters; and the beauty of Camilleri's fictional town of "Vigàta" in the fictional district of "Montelusa" (actually the Sicilian city of Ragusa, Italy, and surrounding towns). The novels give us what TV cannot, the interiors, the feelings and cogitations of the uniquely unpredictable Montalbano and the reactions of those around him. As Montalbano's faithful (and unusually astute) detective, Fazio, says to himself in "The Snack Thief," his boss didn't become insane, he was insane from birth. The novels reinforce TV's visual charm and delicious performances with the "insides" of the plots, people, and places. Camilleri's novels are such a delight to read, I imagine even Montalbano's police force colleagues, friends and lovers, even his opponents (criminal and bureaucratic), who lived the plots with him, would enjoy these books. And Montalbano? He'd read the novels and then ask Camilleri, half-serious, half-mocking, "So, why are you always busting my balls?"
An Inspector Montalbano Mystery.