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The scent of the night by Andrea Camilleri

The scent of the night (original 2001; edition 2007)

by Andrea Camilleri

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7992311,466 (3.82)40
Title:The scent of the night
Authors:Andrea Camilleri
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The Smell of the Night by Andrea Camilleri (2001)




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English (17)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
On the basis of this novel, I'm highly suspicious about the success of this series. Other reviewers have commented on the feebleness of the mystery at its heart, but I'm not too bothered about that; a manhunt for a corrupt financier is perfectly valid, and could make (indeed elsewhere already has made) for an exciting and satisfying crime thriller.

No, the problem with this is the mood. It's not exactly comic, but can't possibly be serious, either. The humour (whimsy?) is now leaden, now ill timed, now in poor taste, and all quite undermined by a translation in which one can have no faith: bizarre spelling to denote a character's uneducated accent can be acceptable, but not in written notes by such characters; nobody in the English-speaking world refers to Marx's book by the title 'Capital' etc. A note tells us that the translator lives in France.

I think I read The Shape of Water years ago and liked it; I've enjoyed the Italian TV movies; but I found this close to unreadable. I won't be returning to Sicily with Montalbano for a long time. If you're a fan, maybe you can make the case that this one's just a dud? ( )
  jtck121166 | Jul 13, 2013 |
What can I say other than that this is another enjoyable mystery in this series? Funny, engaging, all that. Camilleri has written a kind of meta-fiction here, incorporating self-conscious characters, television screenplays and a Faulkner short story. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Way more enjoyable than the last one I read. Funny in places, very interesting plot, with a very entertaining Montalbano. I still much prefer the show to the books though. ( )
  h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
Salvo Montalbano is faced with a financial crime and a missing person. An investment guru has evidently milked hundreds of people out of their life savings, failed to pay them their expected dividends and absconded with the money. Is is a Ponzi scheme gone seriously awry? The only person who believes in his innocence is his secretary MariaStella. Two prevailing theories abound surrounding the accountant's disappearance: he ran away and is now living the high life on a beach on some far off island paradise, or he somehow failed to pay the expected dividends to some higher up in the Mafia and is now feeding the fish in the Mediterranean Sea to atone for his transgressions. Montalbano's superiors are ready to blame this on the Mafia and move on. Salvo has a few too many unanswered questions to let it go, and sets off to find the answer. The ending to this one is well-written and definitely a true shocker. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jun 8, 2012 |
"Did you say the smell of the night?"
"Yes. The night changes smells, depending on the hour."

Montalbano's back and once again in his sixth case of the series. This time he gets involved with the case of a missing financial "genius" who had gained the trust of several investors and then promptly disappeared, taking their money with him. Did he go off to "live it up with beautiful half-naked women" in Polynesia, or did Emanuele Gargano take some money off of a very angry and vengeful Mafioso? Nobody knows, although Montalbano's superiors are inclined to believe the latter (as they generally do, even when unfounded), while Montalbano runs his own investigation. But Montalbano is in trouble with the Commissioner over his actions during a previous case, not having to do with the job, but dealing with a boy named Francois first introduced in The Snack Thief. He's also once again in trouble with Livia, Mimi's got a case of pre-wedding jitters, and someone's gone and cut down the old olive tree where he goes to think. Worst of all, he feels the "ignoble head" of old age coming on.

The Smell of the Night offers its readers a solid mystery, a great investigation and one of the most impressive endings of this series so far. As far as the whodunit is concerned, I had absolutely no clue up until the final denouement, which is always a great thing. But as usual, it is the author's finely-honed sense of place that steals the show, along with his devotion to continuing character development, and his introduction of some new and rather quirky people that help Montalbano throughout the case. And let's not forget the food.

As I continue through this series, it's getting a bit difficult to find new things to say about these books, because although some may be a bit better than others, I'm finding that I am loving them all. All the things that make one book good are continued throughout the rest. Perhaps some of the crimes and their solutions aren't as good in one or two of these books as they are in others, but I've come to realize that I'm really reading them at this point just to see what's going to happen next with Montalbano and his colleagues at the Vigata police station. When all is said and done, and I move on to another author's works, I'm probably not going to remember specific crimes in Camilleri's novels, but I'll definitely remember the setting, the food and especially the crazy group of characters surrounding Montalbano.

As with every previous book, I definitely recommend this one, and since I tend to be a series-reading purist, I'd say start with the first book, The Shape of Water and make your way forward so you don't miss anything. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Sep 6, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bechtolsheim, Christiane vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gracin, JurajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neto, SimonettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadruppani, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, PauTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zabaleta, JosuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Żaboklicki, KrzysztofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The shutter outside the wide-open window slammed so hard against the wall it sounded like a gunshot.

(translated by Stephen Sartarelli, 2005)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
aka The Scent of the Night
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143036203, Paperback)

The number of Inspector Montalbano fans will continue to grow with this ingenious new novel featuring the earthy and urbane Sicilian detective. Half the retirees in Vigáta have invested their savings with a financial wizard who has disappeared, along with their money. As Montalbano investigates this labyrinthine financial scam, he finds himself at a serious disadvantage: a hostile superior has shut him out of the case, he’s on the outs with his lover Livia, and his cherished Sicily is turning so ruthless and vulgar that Montalbano wonders if any part of it is worth saving. Drenched with atmosphere, crackling with wit, The Smell of the Night is Camilleri at his most addictive.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Half the retirees in Vigata have invested their savings with Emanuele Gargano. But now the financial wizard has disappeared, along with their money. Has Gargano flown the coop or, this being Sicily, did he run afoul of the Mafia? The new novel in Andrea Camilleri's internationally bestselling mystery series finds the earthy and urbane Inspector Montalbano investigating a labyrinthine financial scam - but at a serious disadvantage. A hostile superior has shut him out of the case, he's on the outs with his lover, Livia, and his cherished Sicily is turning so ruthless and vulgar that Montalbano wonders if any part of it is worth saving."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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