Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Series - A Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri

Ending my September Series reading with another of my favorite mystery series and detectives....the incomparable Commissario Salvo Montalbano.  These are light but not cozy, intricate but not too convoluted, funny but not 
 insulting, and often worthy of a post on weekend cooking.  Salvo loves to eat and between Adelina his housekeeper and Enzo who runs the local trattoria, we are constantly being treated to gustatory temptations.

In this adventure, involving a dead horse, Salvo investigates (illegal) horse racing and its possible ties to the Mafia.  He has his house ransacked, goes through tremendous angst over growing old and slowing down, and finds himself dallying with the  sumptuous owner of the dead horse in an effort to prove himself still a good functioning Sicilian male.  He has to determine if the horse (who disappeared after the body was discovered) is in fact the Senora's missing steed, and what if any relation the horse murder has to do with his house being tossed.  And then he has to come to grips with his increasing need to wear reading glasses!!

The usual cast of characters is in evidence.  By now after reading 10 of these, I feel the gang is like family.  We know Mimi, and Catarello and Livia and Ingrid.  In fact in this one, Ingrid plays a much larger role than the long-suffering Livia.

This is a series that always delights.  It's best taken in small doses - the stories are all short (never more than 270+/- pages or 5-6 hours of audio) and do tend to start sounding alike if too many are read together.  They are also stories that can be read independently and don't necessarily need to be read in order.  If you love visiting foreign settings, enjoy a good crime filled mystery with not too many plot twists, salivate over descriptions of incredible food, and want a cast of loveable quirky characters, this series should delight you.  They are also available (with sub-titles) on DVD at many local libraries--especially delightful if you're a visual learner.

Author: Andrea Camilleri
Translator: Stephen Sartarelli
Publisher-Format: Blackstone Audio 5 hr, 26 min
Year of publication: 2010
Subject: murder, aging
Setting:  Vigata Sicily
Series: Commissario Montalbano
  police procedural mystery
Source: public library audio download


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