“You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen... transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano.”
—A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano novels have become an international sensation, with fans eagerly awaiting each new installment.
In Game of Mirrors, Inspector Montalbano and his colleagues are stumped when two bombs explode outside empty warehouses—one of which is connected to a big-time drug dealer. Meanwhile, the alluring Liliana Lombardo is trying to seduce the Inspector over red wine and arancini. Between pesky reporters, amorous trysts, and cocaine kingpins, Montalbano feels as if he’s being manipulated on all fronts. That is, until the inspector himself becomes the prime suspect in an unspeakably brutal crime.
About the Author
Andrea Camilleri is the bestselling author of the popular Inspector Montalbano mystery series, as well as historical novels that take place in nineteenth-century Sicily. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and poet. He lives in France.
Reading Group Guide
1. How do you interpret Inspector Montalbano’s dream at the beginning of the novel?
2. What does Montalbano’s theory about the proliferation of paperwork on his desk say about him?
3. Is there any significance to the fact that the Lombardo’s house is “almost identical” (p. 6) to Montalbano’s own?
4. When Montalbano’s housekeeper, Adelina, invites him over to celebrate her son’s birthday, the Inspector is torn between Adelina’s arancini and the dinner date he made with his neighbor, Liliana Lombardo. If Liliana hadn’t agreed to join him at Adelina’s, what choice do you think he would have made? Which would you choose if you had pick between a delicious meal and a sexy—but illicit—date?
5. Are you familiar with The Lady from Shanghai, the Orson Welles’ movie that includes the famous scene in a house of mirrors? If so, why might Camilleri connect this particular movie to his novel? If not, have you ever read about something in a novel and sought it out to read/watch/experience for yourself?
6. In Vigàta, which seems more corrupt: the press or the government? Do you think that Sicily is more corrupt than America, or is it simply better hidden here?
7. While lunching at Enzo’s, Montalbano observes cavaliere Ernesto Jocolano make a fuss about the cleanliness of a plate. Jocolano’s observations spur Montalbano to make a connection he had previously overlooked. Did you understand what Montalbano was thinking before he explained it to Fazio?
8. Were you misled by any of Camilleri’s red herrings? If so, which one?
9. (Spoiler Warning: Don’t read on if you don’t what to know whodunit!)
Montalbano suspects that Liliana has ulterior motives for trying to seduce him, but he still has a difficult time resisting her. How do you think the average man would behave in the same situation?
10. Was there anything Montalbano could have done to save Liliana and Arturo? Did your opinion of Liliana change once you knew she was trying to protect Arturo?
11. We never meet Adriano Lombardo until the end of the novel. Did you suspect the true nature of his relationship with Liliana?
12. What do you think about the way Montalbano sets Nicotra up? In Sicily—where justice is notoriously crooked—did the mafia kingpin deserve to die the way he did?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The same themes and pleasures of the Montalban series, are all here.
The translation into English was so poor I stopped reading at page 18. Dialogues were written in irritatingly broad and clumsy dialects meant to convey the speaker's socioeconomic class, but instead impeded character development. The book was a complete waste of time and money. socioeconomic class, but the effect
What makes the Inspector Montalbano novels so enjoyable is the quirky nature not only of the characters but the plots which are filled with a craftiness matching that of the protagonist. And it is no less obvious in this 18th novel than in the preceding ones in this long-running series. It is filled with seemingly unrelated events that only Salvo Montalbano can unravel. It all begins when two bombs explode in front of unoccupied warehouses, causing little damage. Perhaps the bombs were meant to be a warning. But to whom? Meanwhile there are all sorts of anonymous letters and phone calls with all kinds of misleading information. Then a bullet hole is discovered in the Inspector’s car. Meanwhile he becomes entangled in a mystifying affair with a gorgeous neighbor who apparently aims to seduce him. How to unravel it all is left to Montalbano as only he can put it all together. Once again this book is wonderfully well translated, reflecting the unusual language of some of the characters and the smoothness of the author’s writing. There was a subsequent novel in the series, A Beam of Light, published this past September, as well as another, Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories, coming out later this month, and this reader can’t wait to pick them up. Recommended.