Titles in This Set
- The Shape of Water
- The Terracotta Dog
- The Snack Thief
- The Voice of the Violin
- Excursion to TindariThe Scent of the Night
- Rounding the Mark
- The Patience of the Spider
- The Paper Moon
- August Heat
Description by Single Titles
The Shape of Water
The goats of Vigata once grazed on the trash-strewn site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavour. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture. The coroner's verdict is death from natural causes - refreshingly unusual for Sicily. But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case - even though he's being pressured by Vigata's police chief, judge, and bishop. Picking his way through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower, and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the matter.
The Terracotta Dog
The Terracotta Dog opens with a mysterious tête-à-tête with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead Inspector Montalbano to a secret grotto in a mountain cave where two young lovers dead fifty years and still embracing are watched over by a life-size terracotta dog. Montalbano’s passion to solve this old crime takes him, heedless of personal danger, on a journey through the island’s past and into a family’s dark heart amid the horrors of World War II. Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Salvo Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic, engaging take on Sicilian small-town life and his genius for deciphering the most enigmatic of crimes. ‘The novels of Andrea Camilleri breath out the sense of place, the sense of humour, and the sense of despair that fill the air of Sicily. To read him is to be taken to that glorious, tortured island’ Donna Leon ‘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
The Snack Thief
Never has Inspector Montalbano’s character – a unique blend of humor, cynicism, compassion, earthiness, and love of good food – been more compelling than in The Snack Thief. When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily’s coast, only Inspector Montalbano suspects a link between the two incidents. His investigation leads to the beautiful Karima, an impoverished house cleaner and sometime prostitute, whose young son steals other school children’s mid-morning snacks. But Karima disappears, and the young snack thief’s life – as well as Montalbano’s – is endangered when the inspector exposes a viper’s nest of government corruption and international intrigue.
The Voice of the Violin
The commissioner kept looking at him with an expression that combined contempt and commiseration, apparently discerning unmistakable signs of senile dementia in the inspector. “I’m going to speak very frankly, Montalbano. I don’t have a very high opinion of you.” “Nor I of you,” the inspector replied bluntly. Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate. But it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key to this murder . . .
Excursion to Tindari
Maybe a phrase, a line, a hint somewhere would reveal a reason, any reason, for the elderly couple’s disappearance. They’d saved everything . . . there was even a copy of the ‘certificate of living existence’, that nadir of bureaucratic imbecility . . . What was the ‘protocol’, to use a word dear to government offices? Did one simply write on a sheet of paper something like: ‘I, the undersigned, Salvo Montalbano, hereby declare myself to be in existence’, sign it, and turn it in to the appointed clerk? A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building early one morning, and an elderly couple is reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari – two seemingly unrelated cases for Inspector Montalbano to solve amid the daily complications of life at Vigàta police headquarters. But when Montalbano discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily's brutal ‘New Mafia’, which leads him down a path more evil and more far-reaching than any he has been down before. Praise for Andrea Camilleri: ‘A joy to read’ The Times ‘This savagely funny police procedural proves that sardonic laughter is a sound that translates ever so smoothly into English’ New York Times
The Scent of the Night
Montalbano learned how hard it was to put on a wetsuit while in a dinghy speeding over a sea that wasn’t exactly calm. Mimì, at the helm, looked tense and worried. “Getting seasick?” the inspector asked him at one point. “No. Just sick of myself.” “Why?” “Because every now and then I realize what a stupid shit I am to go along with some of your brilliant ideas.” When an angry octogenarian holds a terrified and lovelorn secretary at gunpoint, Inspector Montalbano is reluctantly drawn into the case. The secretary’s boss, a financial advisor, has vanished along with several billion lire entrusted to him by the good citizens of Vigata. Also missing is the advisor’s young colleague, whose uncle just happens to be building a house on the site of Inspector Montalbano’s very favourite olive tree . . . Ably abetted by his loyal and eccentric team, Montalbano, the food-loving, commitment-phobic inspector, returns for another delicious investigation served up in vintage Camilleri style.
Rounding the Mark
He began swimming in slow, broad strokes. The sea smelled harsh, stinging his nostrils like champagne, and he nearly got drunk on it . . . In a fraction of a second, Montalbano realized he’d struck a human foot. Somebody else was floating right beside him, and he hadn’t noticed.“Excuse me,” he said hastily, flipping back onto his belly and looking over at the other.The person beside him didn’t answer, because he wasn’t doing the dead man’s float. He was actually dead. And, to judge from the way he looked, he’d been so for quite a while. Increasingly disillusioned with his government and the world in general, Inspector Montalbano is considering retirement. He is starting to feel his age, and even his favourite restaurant has closed. But when he bumps into a dead body during a bracing swim, his detective instincts are aroused once more. Particularly when the most likely identity of the victim is a man already long buried . . .
The Patience of the Spider
‘A brother,' he said. Jesus Christ! Now where’d this brother come from? Whose brother? Montalbano had known from the start that between all the brothers, uncles, in-laws, nephews and nieces, this case was going to drive him crazy. Chief Inspector Montalbano is on enforced sick leave. But when a local girl goes mysteriously missing, the whole community takes an interest in the case. Why are the kidnappers so sure that the girl’s impoverished father and dying mother will be able to find a fortune? The ever-inquisitive Montalbano steps in, to get to the heart of the matter in his own inimitable style.
The Paper Moon
Motionless, Montalbano waited for the surf to enter his brain and wash it clean with each breaker. At last the first light wave came like a caress, swiiissshhh, and carried away, glugluglug, Elena Sclafani and her beauty, while Michela Pardo’s tits, belly, arched body and eyes likewise disappeared. Once Montalbano the man was erased, all that should remain was Inspector Montalbano – a kind of abstract function, the person who was supposed to solve the case and nothing more, with no personal feelings involved. But as he was telling himself this, he knew perfectly well that he could never pull it off. As he gets older, Inspector Montalbano is plagued by existential questions. But he doesn’t have much time to wax philosophical before the gruesome murder of a man – shot in the face at point-blank range with his pants down – commands his attention. Add two evasive, beautiful women as prime suspects, dirty cocaine, dead politicians, mysterious computer codes, and a series of threatening letters, and things soon get very complicated at the police headquarters in Vigàta. ‘Wonderful Italian detective stories’ Guardian ‘A magnificent series of novels’ Sunday Times
As seen on TV: now a major BBC4 television series. Montalbano quickly slammed the trunk shut and sat down on top of it. When the beam from Livia’s torch shone on his face, he automatically smiled. ‘What’s in the trunk?’ Livia asked. ‘Nothing. It’s empty.’ How could he possibly have told her there was a corpse inside? The lazy, slow month of August at the height of the Sicilian summer is, Inspector Montalbano assures his girlfriend Livia as they prepare for a relaxing holiday in a villa he has found for them, far too hot for any murders to be committed. But when Livia's friends’ young son goes missing, a chain of events is sparked which will certainly ruin the Chief Inspector’s pleasant interlude. A secret apartment and a grisly find in an old trunk are just the beginning, as Montalbano navigates his way though the case, as well as coping with the sweltering heat, the suspicious death of an Arab labourer and the tempting lure of a beautiful girl . . . ‘A magnificent series of novels’ Sunday Times ‘Wonderful Italian detective stories’ Guardian