Montalbano is a delightful creation.
Camilleri is as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.
At the start of Camilleri's wry ninth Insp. Salvo Montalbano procedural (after 2007's The Patience of the Spider), the irascible detective is hoping for a quiet day at his Vigàta office when a visitor, the beguiling Michela Pardo, implores him to help her track down her missing brother, Angelo. Montalbano accompanies Michela to Angelo's apartment, where they find her brother's gunshot-blasted corpse in a compromising position. Montalbano later discovers a possible link between the murder and a series of drug overdoses whose victims include a popular senator. Angelo's affair with a professor's attractive wife offers another avenue of inquiry, but one that gets complicated when the inspector begins to fall in love with the suspect. Humor, much of it provided by Montalbano's eccentric colleagues, leavens the noirish story line, and the solution to the central puzzle is both psychologically plausible and intellectually satisfying. The crisp prose is a pleasure to read, and a last-minute twist a testament to the author's artistry. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
For Sicilian inspector Salvo Montalbano, the murder of Angelo Pardo-shot in the face with his zipper down-suggests various areas of inquiry. Pardo was a pharmaceutical representative with a revoked medical license, connections in high places, an overly devoted sister, and expensive habits who left mysteriously coded computer files. Meanwhile, drug deaths increase alarmingly in the province, with some prominent citizens as victims. In this ninth entry in Camilleri's series, Montalbano is less melancholy than in his previous outing (The Patience of the Spider): things are running smoothly with his absent lover, Livia, despite his attraction to the dead man's mistress; he's eating well at Enzo's trattoria, and with treats from his Swedish friend Ingrid, he's even less abrasive with his underlings. But why does the commissioner want to see him, and what do Montalbano's thoughts about dying mean? While the murder is solved after some deft twists, the inspector himself calls for further attention, and fans will welcome Camilleri's tenth. [Camilleri is also featured in Crimini: The Bitter Lemon Book of Italian Crime Fiction, out this month from Bitter Lemon Press.-Ed.]
Two seductive suspects battle for the allegiance and libido of a weary detective. Beautiful Michela Pardo demands to see Sicilian Police Inspector Montalbano about her missing brother Angelo. With Michela hovering behind him, Montalbano finds Angelo's body in his apartment, shot at close range and seated in a chair with his member hanging out of his open fly. Angelo's endeavors as an informant certainly brought him into contact with many unsavory characters, but the Inspector assumes there's a recent lover with crucial information. Michela readily offers a name-Elena Sclafani-and a description-whore. Beautiful, blond Elena seems blithe and equally unconcerned with being married and being a murder suspect. She and her much older husband, it seems, have an arrangement. The news from the autopsy that Angelo did not have sex shortly before his death should send the investigation into other directions, but both women pursue Montalbano so aggressively, each with the intention of implicating the other, that he continues to follow up on leads pointing to them. What the flattered Inspector finds most revealing is the widely divergent portraits of the victim his pair of prime suspects offer. At length he consults Angelo's previous love, the frank Paolo, to unearth the enigmatic victim's true nature, which lies at the mystery's heart. Another solid Sicilian noir from the ironic pen of Camilleri (The Patience of the Spider, 2007, etc.).