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The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector…

The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) (original 2006; edition 2009)

by Andrea Camilleri, Stephen Sartarelli (Translator)

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5782317,114 (3.65)62
Title:The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries)
Authors:Andrea Camilleri
Other authors:Stephen Sartarelli (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 231 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Italy, Crime, Darebin, 2012

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The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri (2006)



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English (16)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (23)
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2009, Blackstone Audiobooks, Read by Grover Gardner

Book Description: Amazon.ca
Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His relationship with Livia is once again on the rocks and – acutely aware of his age – he is beginning to grow weary of the endless violence he encounters. Then a young woman is found dead, her face half shot off and only a tattoo of a sphinx moth giving any hint of her identity. The tattoo links her to three similarly marked girls-all victims of the underworld sex trade-who have been rescued from the Mafia night-club circuit by a prominent Catholic charity. The problem is, Montalbano's inquiries elicit an outcry from the Church and the three other girls are all missing.

My Review:
More food, love, and murder Sicilian style! As well as a solid story line, I enjoyed the inspector’s occasional internal dialogue (or is it really monologue?) between Montalbano1 and Montalbano2 – I can relate! I can further relate to this wonderful rant by the inspector on government’s complete incompetence. Catarelli, of course, continues to charm, “poysonally in poyson.”

“The inspector cursed the saints. The police stations had no gasoline, the courts had no paper, the hospitals had no thermometers, and meanwhile, the government was thinking about building a bridge over the strait of Messina. But there was always plenty of gasoline for the useless escorts of ministers, vice-ministers, undersecretaries, committee chairmen, senators, chamber deputies, regional deputies, cabinet chiefs, and under-assistant briefcase carriers.” ( )
4 vote lit_chick | Mar 13, 2016 |
Just goes to show that policework is little changed regardless of country. And SOME policemen are too creative by half! This is a good thing!
Inspector Montalbano works for a jurisdiction in Sicily and knows how to sidestep both his superior and nearby jurisdictions. He also knows how to script and act (with the able assist of his fellows) to get to the bottom of things. And those fellows! Each is useful in his own way, including the one who is comic relief by way of indecipherable handwriting and total mangling of names.
The initial crime is murder, but there are many more woven into this tale. Like Colombo, all is solved in the end, except, perhaps, in his personal life. The laughs are low key, but still make for laugh-out-loud moments. The publisher's summary will give an overview without spoilers. I plan to begin with #1 and devour this whole series!
Many thanks to Stephen Sartarelli for making this book and series available to English speakers!
I like the the way Grover Gardner interprets the characters. Italian speakers may not approve of a Brooklyn accent for one of the police, but it provides North Americans with added fun. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Aug 27, 2015 |
This installment was just an okay read for me. While the crimes had some interesting nuances to them, and I continue to enjoy how Camilleri makes connections between separate crimes in these stories but for the most part, this was a story about the bureaucracy and the struggles of departments trying to do their jobs without things like money for gas for the department cars, etc. This one almost felt as though Camilleri was churning the story out and was not giving the plot and character focus the previous books convey. Even the usual supporting cast of characters seemed to be just going through the motions this time. This is the eleventh book in a series that has seen all eleven books released over a six year period, with two book a year being released for three consecutive years, so some form of writers burnout should probably be expected. One thing I will mention in passing is that while I try to not take sides with the characters in the books I read - because, I mean, really, why would I?! - I have to admit to totally being in the Livia camp now. Seriously. I continue to enjoy the Inspector Montalbano series but I think I have finally reached saturation point with my back to back audiobook reads. I need a break from the series, but I will come back to it. ( )
  lkernagh | Jan 24, 2015 |
The 11th Montalbano book this is a series that I'm tragically reading out of order, behind the publication dates and sadly not often enough.
Of course fans know about the food, and the scenery, and the grumpiness of Montalbano. Combine that with the vague lunacy of the members of the rest of the police force he has to work with and there's a sense of affection about these books.
Which stands out markedly against the relationships that Montalbano has with everyone including his on/off/distant/what exactly is their relationship girlfriend Livia.
Around this investigation, which revolves largely around the difficulties in identifying the dead woman, Montalbano's relationship with Livia is off again - and this time it seems terminal.
So stand by for a lot of soul searching, and dithering about with she said / he said / or they simply said nothing because neither wanted to pick up the phone. Add to that the standard pressures from above, the side and below with Montalbano's team also supposed to be investigating the kidnapping of a local man - who everyone, but his wife, thinks has done a runner.
If you love this series, then there's really not a bad book, although there are favoured ones. Perhaps because of the heavy concentration on the relationship between Montalbano and Livia, this does bog a bit on occasion. In the same way that finishing the chocolate dessert might get a bit tricky at the end of a fabulous meal. As always, the real problem with this series is that it's impossible to read any of them and not be hungry. And somewhat disappointed that your fridge doesn't reveal the sorts of delicacies that Montalbano's does.

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-wings-sphinx-andrea-camilleri ( )
  austcrimefiction | Nov 12, 2014 |
With Montalbano's bitterness about his ever-increasing age, I have to admit that I've found the last two books in this series not as enjoyable as the rest. I'm from the school that believes getting older is better than its many alternatives, and it's best to put up and shut up. Montalbano did not attend the same school. Fortunately, he spends very little time grousing about the inevitable in this installment, so my enjoyment factor shot back up to its usual level.

Another element that can adversely affect my enjoyment is Montalbano's relationship with Livia. Too often, their squabbling has appeared to be squabbling for its own sake, but in The Wings of the Sphinx, their disagreements show that they both realize that they are at a very serious crossroads in their relationship.

One of the things I enjoy most about Camilleri's series is the economy of his writing. He packs food, travel, musings about life, death, aging, the government, as well as humor and an intriguing murder investigation into fewer pages than many writers today. His economy of style doesn't sacrifice plot or character either. And I can't say enough about Stephen Sartarelli's translation. It's clear and engaging yet still gives English readers the flavor of Sicilian speech. He also includes notes in the back that can enlighten us about various items mentioned in the story. (But it's possible to ignore them and not lose anything in the reading.)

The Wings of the Sphinx is another strong book in one of my favorite series. I look forward to more. ( )
  cathyskye | Oct 26, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillo, LiesbethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ζερβού, ΚατερίναTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahn, MosheTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadruppani, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, PauTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woźniak, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Whatever happened to those early mornings when, upon awakening, for no reason, he would feel a sort of current of pure happiness running through him?
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Book description
Chief Insp. Salvo Montalbano finds himself in the midst of a serious crisis with his significant other, Livia. He is uncertain what he can and should do to repair the rift that has developed between them. Meanwhile, the inspector must tackle a difficult case—the gunshot murder of an attractive young woman whose nude body was left in a dump. As Montalbano and his team first attempt to identify the victim based on a butterfly tattoo on her left shoulder, they learn of a possible link to an influential Catholic charity. Soon they start to feel political pressure to steer the inquiry in a different direction.
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Becoming increasingly disillusioned with his violent career and his on-again, off-again relationship with Livia, Inspector Salvo Montalbano investigates the shooting death of a young woman whose tattoo links her to the underworld sex trade.

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