Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Death at Sea: Montalbano’s Early Cases

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Death at Sea: Montalbano’s Early Cases (2014/2018) Andrea Camilleri translated by Stephen Sartarelli

These stories are set during the 80s, when Montalbano would have been in his 30s.

Room Number 2
Double Investigation
Death at Sea
The Stolen Message
The Transaction
Standard Procedure
The Apricot
The Honest Thief

There are eight stories, and look back at a time when Montalbano was becoming the man he is in the later stories.

“But how is it this man always finds a plausible excuse?”

He answered his own question.

“Either he’s someone who never strays an inch from the straight and narrow path, or else he’s a great big son of a bitch, even though he doesn’t seem like one.”

Someone able to make leaps of intuition, and not quite the asshole he is in the later books.

We need to find out more about Cosentino.”

“Already taken care of,” said Fazio.

Every time Fazio said “already taken care of,” which he did often, it meant he was one step ahead of him, something that made the inspector feel tremendously annoyed. But he controlled himself.

But we can see him getting there.

We also see the corruption that helped to make him the man he is in the later books.

…And, once again in accordance with standard procedure, that night, two burglars entered Prosecutor Gaetano Mistretta’s office and, knowing exactly what they were looking for, made off with that file and nothing else.

Knowing, however, what was going to happen in accordance with standard procedure, Inspector Salvo Montalbano had also followed standard procedure. That is, before turning Guarnotta’s letter and the three cassettes over to the DA, he’d had Catarella make him a copy of the letter as well as copies of the three tapes.

And he hid them well, in hopes of better days to come.

I enjoyed all the stories, but my favorite was the last, The Honest Thief, which shows precisely how Montalbano navigated the complex world of Sicilian crime and policing.

Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: 8.5/10


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