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The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
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The Terracotta Dog (1996)

by Andrea Camilleri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Commissario Montalbano (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,437517,582 (3.79)236
  1. 10
    Blood Rain by Michael Dibdin (browner56)
    browner56: Typical examples of two excellent Italian detective series (Camilleri's Salvo Montalbano and Dibdin's Aurelio Zen); both books are set in Sicily and have Mafia-related themes.
  2. 10
    The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: The first two titles in the Montalbano series, with many of the same characters appearing in both.
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» See also 236 mentions

English (42)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Digital audio narrated by Grover Gardner

Book two in the Inspector Montalbano series has him solving a 50-year-old crime. The dying words of one man lead the detective to a secret grotto in the mountains, where the remains of two young lovers lie in an embrace, watched over by a large terra-cotta dog. As he works to solve this old mystery, which has him delving into the island’s past and the horrors of World War II, he also has to deal with modern crime wave, shoot-outs, betrayals, a complicated love life and the politics of the police department.

Camilleri populates the novel with an assortment of colorful characters, from mafioso crime bosses, to intimidated shop owners, to faithful partners on the police force and a bevy of beauties that complicate Montalbano’s life.

Montalbano himself is a wonderful lead character. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, nor sweat the small stuff. He’s intelligent, a loyal friend and is always ready to find the humor in a situation, no matter how dire.

This particular plot had me somewhat confused given the historical nature of the central mystery. But it was interesting, engaging and entertaining. I’ll keep reading the series.

Grover Gardner does a fine job performing the audios. He really brings these characters to life, and even does a passable job of voicing the female characters.

A few pages of notes at the end of the text version explain the various references, historical and modern, the Italian police / military / political system as well as the exchange rate of lira to US dollars (at least at the time the novel is written). Very helpful to this reader! This is not included in the audio version. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 28, 2018 |
Better than book 1 but not entranced with Inspector character. Don't know how all story lines connect. Didn't engross me and therefore didn't pay attention to all the details. ( )
  maddonna | Jun 2, 2018 |
Those Venice detective stories, almost homey, set the bar for Italian mystery, with locales more alive than bodies in a canal, of course, but also more alive than most people in its pages.

Terra Cotta Dog is a Sicilian detective story. Attitude and atmosphere predominate, without the specifics of the each corner and bridge. The atmosphere is hot and dry and polluted with crime. The attitude is one of blood feud pride. Nothing new in these stereotypes.

I am not sure I want to visit Sicily after the book, except for the food--the book creates a running menu that would come in handy.

Montalbano seems human, at first, when on the trail of some Mafioso, but then reveals himself as such an arrogant ass that you want to kick him a time or two, not read him. He is not a compassionate northerner like Brunetti.

The mafia always wins of, course. But Montalbano has his moments. Crime to him is a puzzle for his pleasure to play with. Justice, apparently, does not apply in that part of the world. Maybe nowhere anymore, come to think of it. See what reading this book has done to me. Be careful.
( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Camilleri come al solito vince sulla caratterizzazione dei personaggi. Purtroppo la/le trama/e qui sono abbastanza mal sviluppate: il delitto di mafia dopo una rapida pseudo-risoluzione si perde quasi nel nulla salvo rispuntare qua e la' ogni tanto senza logica, la storia degli innamorati e la sua risoluzione invece sono un pelo inverosimili. Oltre a questo nel complesso entrambe non lasciano poi molto il desiderio di sapere come vanno a finire. ( )
  Mlvtrglvn | Jan 5, 2018 |
A good story with lots of laughs. Grover Gardner is a wonderful reader. A clever mystery. As always the food descriptions make me hungry. ( )
  njcur | Aug 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrea Camilleriprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sartarelli, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Aamusarastuksesta päätellen luvassa oli aivan ilmeisesti omituinen päivä, toisin sanoen välillä auringon porotusta, välillä jääkylmiä sadekuuroja ja mausteena vielä äkillisiä tuulenpuuskia.
To judge from the entrance the dawn was making, it promised to be a very iffy day-that is, blasts of angry sunlight one minute, fits of freezing rain the next, all of it seasoned with sudden gusts of wind-one of those days when someone who is sensitive to abrupt shifts in weather and suffers them in his blood and brain is likely to change opinion and direction continuously, like those sheets of tin, cut in the shape of banners and roosters, that spin every which way on rooftops with each new puff of wind.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142004723, Paperback)

Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic take on Sicilian life. Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious têtê à têtê with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There, the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old crime takes him on a journey through Sicily's past and into one family's darkest secrets. With sly wit and a keen understanding of human nature, Montalbano is a detective whose earthiness, compassion, and imagination make him totally irresistable.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious tete a tete with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There, the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old crime takes him on a journey through Sicily's past and into one family's darkest secrets.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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