Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt is an Inspector Montalbano mystery novel (the 16th in the series) by Andrea Camilleri. I always enjoy these books and can't recommend them highly enough. The characters are fully fleshed out and interact in realistic ways. I appreciate the balance between the somber crime elements and the more light-hearted parts. Montalbano's introspection and interpersonal relationships add a lot to my continuing enjoyment of this series. I look forward to seeing each new translation in my local bookstore. They are best read in order, as the characters age and relationships change through the series.

from the back of the book:
A hail of bullets interrupts a period of dead calm. An elderly brother and sister open fire on the plaza below their apartment, punishing the people of Vigata for their sins. News cameras film Inspector Montalbano -gun in hand- scaling the building to capture the ancient snipers. Inside he finds a nightmarish world of religious objects and a well-worn inflatable sex doll that will come back to haunt him. The Inspector is hailed as a hero after the televised adventure and calm returns. But Montalbano begins to receive cryptic messages in verse, challenging him to go on a "treasure hunt". Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles -until they take a dangerous turn.

favorite quotes:
How was it that his desk was newly covered with papers to sign? It occurred to him that if all of mankind suddenly vanished from the face of the earth, for days and days the papers to be signed would probably keep on mysteriously accumulating on the desks of the world's offices.
Want to bet this lack of courage was nothing more than an effect of aging? That's what people are like when they get old; they become excessively prudent.

How did the saying go? We're born arsonists and we die firemen.
There is mention of an un-named print by Cagli, perhaps Corrado Cagli? This Italian artist was of Jewish heritage and became a U.S. citizen, fighting in Europe during World War II. After the war, he returned to Europe, living in Rome until his death in 1976. Mentioned as being in the same room with the work by Cagli is an un-named painting by Guttuso, maybe Renato Gattuso, who is best known for his Crucifiction:

Kirkus Reviews gives it a positive review. Eurocrime closes with mixed thoughts: "As usual there is much to like about this latest Montalbano book it's funny, there's political commentary and an intriguing adversary however the ending was marred for me by its darkness..." highly recommends it.

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
15. Dance of the Seagull


  1. Thanks for this post, I've read a few of the books in this series but got sidetracked. I need to order this new one from the library and use your list to see which ones I'm missed.


    1. I'm so glad I found this series. Our local bookseller always has some on the shelf, and I get each one as I see it. I dread the end of the series. I wonder if I'd like the TV adaptations.

  2. I know you have followed this series for awhile, but had no idea there were so many of these mysteries. My library doesn't carry Camilleri, even though I've asked several times after reading your reviews. Guess I should say the many Wichita libraries don't carry Camilleri, which seems a shame after reading about this series on your blog.

    1. Libraries are hit or miss with so much except for best sellers and standard references. has used copies for as little as $4.00, which includes shipping. Still more than a library copy. :(

  3. I just checked our library; you can get a few copies in German, Italian, and as audio book (only for the blind). However, most of them seem to be on sale this month in the stores, so I might try one. I´d like a new series that I can get really into. This looks promising.

    1. I look forward to your take on them. There are 21 in total, but only 18 have been translated into English so far. I only have English, so I have to wait for translations; and I've never tried audiobooks, but I saw an audio edition at Amazon.