The Terracotta Dog
The Terracotta Dog, the second book in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, 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 Terracotta Dog is followed by the third title in this satirical and humorous series, The Snack Thief.
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.
Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler's Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret.