cid

commissaire inspector dottore

academic and personal thoughts on detective-inspector novels


andrea camilleri

the montalbano series

la forma dell'acqua (1994)
il cane di terracotta (1996)
il ladro di merendine (1996)
la voce del violino (1997)
la gita a tindari (2000)
l'odore della notte (2001)
il giro di boa (2003)
la pazienza del ragno (2004)
la luna di carta (2005)
la vampa d'agosto (2006)
le ali della sfinge (2006)
la pista di sabbia (2007)
il campo del vasaio (2008)
l'età del dubbio (2008)
la danza del gabbiano (2009)
la caccia al tesoro (2010)
il sorriso di angelica (2010)
il gioco degli specchi (2011)
una lama di luce (2012)
una voce di notte (2012)
un covo di vipere (2013)
la piramide di fango (2014)
la giostra degli scambi (2015)
l'altro capo del filo (2016)

up to bibliography by series

Salvo Montalbano, hero of Andrea Camilleri's series of detective-inspector novels, has a puzzling character note: he never seems to know anything about Vigàta, the Sicilian town where he's been commissario of detectives for many years.

Since the novels and stories are always told from Montalbano's point of view, with Salvo as the sole reflector-character, his apparent cluelessness about his bailiwick serves an important narrative function: it allows one of his lieutenants, usually Fazio or Mimí Augello, to offer some exposition to the boss and via him, to the reader. While pursuing a bizarre psychotic killer (of animals) in the long story "Sette lunedi," for instance, Montalbano concludes that "il fanatico … è sicuramente uno che è nato e cresciuto a Vigàta [the madman is certainly somebody born and raised in Vigàta]" (56). This puts the adversary in pointed contrast to Montalbano himself. The killer knows all the old residents of Vigàta and what livestock they own, and can spell out an alarming acrostic with the names of his victims' owners: but while Mimí and Fazio may know as much as the killer does, Salvo himself is always a step behind.

His eternal innocence, even after decades of residence in the town, of course gives Salvo an eternally open mind. Here too, the reader identifies with him. We come to mystery novels innocent – or do we? By the tenth or fifteenth Montalbano, we too have our ingrained opinions of Fazio's mania for names and dates, Mimí Augello's womanizing, Catarella's habit of letting the door bang against the wall, and Enzo or Adelina's cooking.

Camilleri, Andrea. "Sette lunedi," in La Prima Indagine di Montalbano. Milano: Mondadori, 2005. 9-96.

danish translations
english translations
french translations
german translations
polish translations
spanish translations