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La voce del violino by Andrea Camilleri

La voce del violino (1997)

by Andrea Camilleri

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1,077307,750 (3.83)118
Title:La voce del violino
Authors:Andrea Camilleri
Info:Palermo Sellerio 1997 209 S.
Collections:Your library

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The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri (1997)



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English (26)  Spanish (3)  Italian (1)  All languages (30)
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I watched the TV series on BBC4 long before I read any of the books, so my review is a mix of both the show and the book

The Voice of the Violin is number 4 in the Commisario Montalbano series of books, and number 2 of the tv show.

On the way to a funeral, Montalbano and Gallo end up in a crash due to Gallo's speeding, hitting a stationary car on the side of the road. They don't know who owns parked car or house. Following a visit to the hospital, the pair drive back past the house and see the car still sitting there untouched.

Mimi puts Caterella forward for an IT course, which means Caterella is not there for most of the episode, which can be a good thing, as his form of slapstick delivery can get annoying if played too much. Salvo and Livia argue about their wedding and fostering of François . Mimi is off on another case, which means that Salvo doesn't get to talk things out with him much, either about the case or Livia.

Salvo visits the house where they had the crash, and breaks in, finding the naked body of a dead woman in a large room (in the book, the body is face down in the bedroom). He returns to visit an elderly lady from the previous episode, Clementina Vasile Cozzo, and gets her to make an anonymous phone call reporting the dead body. Whilst there he meets the old man Barbera from upstairs who is a violinist.

The team visits the house again, formally this time, but because of the location, it's not their usual forensics team who turn up. Fazio twigs that Salvo has been there before and checks that he wore gloves. The dead woman is Michela, who is/was married to a much older, rich man called Licalzi who knows she has at least one lover: Serravalle, an antiques seller in Bologna. The Licalzi live elsewhere and she is down to convert the villa, maybe into a hotel.

In investigating her time in Vigata, Montalbano finds her friend Anna, who tells Salvo that Michaela had been stalked by Maurizio di Blasi, a mentally deficient 31-year-old.

On the personal front, François has chosen to stay with Franca and her family and is worried that Salvo is going to take him away. Livia is not happy when told and claims it is because Salvo doesn't want to be a father, so they have another argument.....

Salvo is taken off the case by the commissioner he doesn't like, and that combined with François makes him grumpy. di Blasi gets arrested by the flying squad only to be killed in the following shootout. With di Blasi dead, Salvo decides to resume the investigation. He hears that the mafia have a witness that claims it didn't go down as described, and the suspected hand grenade was in fact di Blasi's shoe.

Salvo visits Panzacchi, captain of flying squad with a video showing that di Blasi wasn't carrying a grenade. He tells Panzacchi to sort it out as it will bring down Commissioner and the local Judge if the video gets out. The following day Panzacchi resigns and Salvo is back on the case. Fazio and Mimi know there's more going on they don't know about, and Galluzzo puts his foot in it by trying to celebrate.

Anna says she saw Michaela with an older man she remembered was a violinist but Michaela didn't want to talk about it further. He asks her some further questions, she's disappointed when he doesn't make a pass. Realising that the situation is not about sex or love, Salvo goes looking for the money and in going through her papers Salvo realises she's been fiddling her expenses

Livia pops round, having been to see François , and had been persuaded to talk to Salvo by Mimi, as they have become friends. She's upset but coming to terms that François doesn't want to leave Franca and her husband and the situation is not really Salvo's fault.

Salvo visits maestro Barbera (the violinist he met previously) who confirms he knew Michela and that she had asked him to get a certain violin certified and he had lent her one in return, however not the one that was found in the house when she died. Salvo then begins to piece things together so following the funeral, Salvo visits Serravalle in his hotel suite, puts forward his theory that Serravalle is heavily in debt due to gambling and Michela had been helping him. In desperation, he decides to kill her and steal the violin, not knowing it was the replacement and therefore practically valueless.

Serravalle points out impossible to prove but realises that being arrested by the police is better of two bad options. Salvo lets him go off on his own to pack his bag, only for a gunshot to ring out....

I read the book after watching the episode several times. The show runs very close to the book, with just a few scenes that are different - e.g. where the body is found, that Salvo calls Caterella "Cat", and Caterella's inability to talk properly is made clear.
  nordie | May 14, 2016 |
First, my compliments to Stephen Sartarelli on his translation and notes compiled for the reader to understand every nuance of Camilleri's written word.
Some say that the pace of the book is slow, but, I enjoyed this differing flavor on a detective novel. Camilleri is able to immerse us in the world of Inspector Montalbano: his love and enjoyment of mediterranean food coupled with a detailed description of the sea and the warm and rocky Sicilian geography. With a mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path. This is a"delicious" discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Mar 25, 2016 |
Another excellent mystery novel about Inspector Montalbano, involving several beautiful women, sex and violence, robbery and corruption in the Italian police! ( )
  PaulAllard | Dec 9, 2015 |
Perfectly reasonable bit of crime fiction, not especially noteworthy. The translation is sometimes clumsy, particularly when trying to depict Sicilian dialect. The things about this series that raise it above mediocre are the lead character's kneejerk desire to dodge the case or pass it on to someone else, and the delightful but incongruous food descriptions. ( )
  adzebill | Oct 3, 2015 |
In addition to a very good 'whodunit', I love all the food references in these Inspector Montelbano books. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Chronologically the fourth outing for Inspector Salvo Montalbano and his Sicilian team of detectives, THE VOICE OF THE VIOLIN is a perfect example of all that is good about this series. The plot is one of the stronger, leaner ones...Salvo's gradual uncovering of the true story leading to the crime is logically satisfying, as well as introducing a rewarding set of characters among the witnesses and suspects.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Avila Melo, Joana Angelica d'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
千種, 堅Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bechtolsheim, Christiane vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gracin, JurajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kangas, HelinäTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krone, PattyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margit, LukácsiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mikołajewski, JarosławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadruppani, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simoniti, VeronikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, PauTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Чемогина, Е.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Inspector Salvo Montalbano could immediately tell that it was not going to be his day the moment he opened the shutters of his bedroom window.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142004456, Paperback)

Inspector Montalbano, praised as “a delightful creation” (USA Today), has been compared to the legendary detectives of Georges Simenon, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler. As the fourth mystery in the internationally bestselling series opens, Montalbano’s gruesome discovery of a lovely, 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 the murder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a lovely, 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 the murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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