Andrea Camilleri

14 October 2021
304 pages


The twenty-eighth and final novel in the thrilling, wickedly funny Inspector Montalbano Mysteries series by bestselling author Andrea Camilleri.

‘Contrary to what you think, I’m carrying out this investigation as best I can. But let’s do this: if I get stuck, if I find I can’t go forward or back, then I’ll let you know, and you can step in. And offer me a way out. You’ve gained a bit of detective work through me, haven’t you? What do you say?’
‘I’m game,’ said the Author . . .

When Inspector Montalbano receives an early-morning phone call it proves to be the start of a very trying day. For the caller expects Montalbano to arrive imminently at a rendezvous with some friends. But before he can reply the caller announces himself as someone called Riccardino and hangs up.

Later that day news comes in of a brutal slaying in broad daylight by an unknown assassin who makes his getaway on a motorbike. And when the Inspector learns of the victim’s identity – a man called Riccardino – his troubles are only just beginning. For soon he must contend with the involvement of a local bishop and a fortune teller who reports some strange goings-on in her neighbourhood.

All roads soon lead to a local salt mine but the case proves stubbornly intractable until Montalbano receives another unexpected call . . .

Reading it feels like taking a restful and invigorating holiday, in the company of an infallibly amusing author who is also sufficiently wise . . . Reflecting now on the pleasure Camilleri’s body of work has given me, I’m moved to break a reviewing convention and offer to his shade a sentiment that even the most delighted critics never express: thank you
The concluding instalment in the late Italian writer's beloved Inspector Montalbano series is a chance to savour the sardonic Sicilian's company, the vivid landscape of his region and Camilleri's distinctive voice as he unravels his final mystery
Among the most exquisitely crafted pieces of crime writing available today . . . Simply superb