Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Dance of the Seagull

The Dance of the Seagull is the 15th book in the Inspector Montalbano series of mysteries by Andrea Camilleri. I've read and enjoyed the others and always look forward to the next one. It's much better to read them in at least some approximation of the order in which they were written, as the characters grow and their relationships change through time.

Here's a description from Wikipedia:
In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is an homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are remarkable. Both writers make great play of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences.

The books have been adapted for TV; but they haven't been shown here, and I don't have the DVDs (yet).

from the back of the book:
Before leaving for vacation with Livia, Montalbano witnesses a seagull doing an odd dance on the beach outside his home, when the bird suddenly drops dead. Stopping in at his office for a quick check before heading off, he notices that Fazio is nowhere to be found and soon learns that he was last seen on the docks, secretly working on a case. Montalbano sets out to find him and discovers that the seagull's dance of death may provide the key to understanding a macabre world of sadism, extortion, and murder.
Eurocrime closes a positive review with this:
this was a real treat. As I always do, I recommend starting from the beginning, THE SHAPE OF WATER, if you've not read any before, partly because this is a great series but also to follow Montalbano's ageing and how he rails against it and to understand the background to his internal arguments with 'Montalbano One' and 'Two' who are introduced a few books in.
Kirkus Reviews concludes: "Montalbano's 15th case features more hilarious bark and some satisfying bite." Crime Segments says, "If you read these novels only for plot, you're missing out on one of the best-developed group of characters ever created by a crime-fiction novelist."

A Common Reader says,
Andrea Camilleri is now 87 years old and he is a wonderful example of what can be achieved if you just carry on working into old age, for The Dance of the Seagull is a cut above any other crime novel I’ve read this year, showing a mind that is as agile as any younger writer.

I've also read these:
1. The Shape of Water
2. The Terra-Cotta Dog
3. The Snack Thief
4. Voice of the Violin
5. Excursion to Tindari
6. The Smell of Night
7. Rounding the Mark
8. The Patience of the Spider
9. The Paper Moon
10. August Heat
11. The Wings of the Sphinx
12. The Track of Sand
13. The Potter's Field
14. The Age of Doubt


  1. Your book posts are going to get me in trouble, LOL! A whole series and I have not read even ONE of them? Woo- hoo, library here I come!



    1. i came across a couple of these in a used book store years ago and bought them on a whim. i love when i come across fun books by authors i've never heard of.

  2. You are such a prolific reader and your posts are making my to read list very long!