Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy's most famous contemporary writers. The Montalbano series has been translated into nine languages and the novels have been bestsellers both in Italy and Germany. The author lives in Rome. Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator. He lives in France.
In the fourth entry in Camilleri's best-selling series about Sicilian "hero" Salvo Montalbano (after The Snack Thief), a late-night car wreck caused by Salvo's driver leads to discovery of a murder victim. The dead woman, the much younger wife of an impotent wealthy physician, apparently had just one lover, one mentally deficient admirer, and many wannabes. Higher-ups take the case away from Salvo after he has nearly solved it, but when the mentally deficient guy becomes a scapegoat, Salvo continues investigating anyway. Smooth prose adeptly translated carries the reader into the often-comic world of Sicilian police procedure. Strongly recommended for fans of police procedurals and international mysteries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In his fourth mystery to feature Inspector Salvo Montalbano (The Snack Thief, etc.), Camilleri once again thrills with his fluid storytelling and quirky characters. The irritable Sicilian detective's first challenge is to figure out a way to start an investigation into the murder of a woman whose naked body he discovered through an unauthorized break-in, without letting it be known that he was the one who found her. The long list of suspects includes the woman's husband, who's seemingly unaffected by the news of her death; the neighborhood half-wit, who would charitably be described as an admirer but more appropriately as a stalker; and the woman's out-of-town lover, who has a cryptic background of his own. Salvo is as incapable of turning his back on the mystery as he is at playing politics, and he soon finds himself in trouble with his superiors and the patsy for an ambitious colleague. Perhaps because the crime itself is less intricate than those in earlier books in the series, the author has increased the stakes for Salvo's career and the amount of maverick behavior. Through this deft translation, Camilleri's tale of lust, greed and hidden beauty should win new American readers. (Nov. 10) Forecast: An international bestseller, Camilleri should benefit from the recent attention given to Donna Leon, author of Uniform Justice (Forecasts, Aug. 4) and other mysteries set in Italy. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler's Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret. * Guardian *