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by Andrea Camilleri

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Italian (2)  English (1)  All languages (3)
Montalbano is awakened far too early by his telephone ringing; even worse, the caller Riccardino has made a mistake, believing Montalbano is someone else, someone who is supposed to be meeting Riccardino and their friends right at that moment! Irritated, Montalbano pretends to be the person Riccardino thinks he is calling, saying he will be there in 10 or 15 minutes, then hangs up. About an hour later, Montalbano gets a real call, from the police station, telling him of a murder that has just occurred. When he finds out that the victim is none other than Riccardino, Montalbano finds himself wading through a morass of murder, infidelity, thievery and, yes, even the Catholic church in the form of a well-informed bishop…. “Riccardino” is the final book in Camilleri’s long-running series; in the author’s note at the end, we learn that he wrote the book in 2005, instructing his publisher that it was not to be released until after his death (Camilleri died in 2019, at the age of 93); in the 14 years between the two events, he wrote 9 or 10 more books in the series, perhaps more. The first instance of the “meta” nature of the later books is with #15 in the series, “Dance of the Seagull” (published in Italy in 2009, in English in 2013) in which Montalbano is upset that an actor is portraying him on a television show; by the time we reach this last book, not only is the actor referenced quite frequently but the Author himself shows up via telephone calls and faxes! It’s enough to make one’s head spin, and I’m not even touching on the actual plot of this last novel (which is satisfying, as usual). It would be utterly impossible to read this book without being familiar with the whole series, but the fortunate reader who has yet to discover Camilleri and his creation Montalbano can look forward to some 28 books to savour (also the Italian television show, which I’ve seen, is fun to watch); very highly recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Sep 23, 2021 |
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