The smell of the night

Andrea Camilleri

Book - 2005

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MYSTERY/Camilleri, Andrea
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New York : Penguin Books 2005.
Item Description
"An Inspector Montalbano mystery"--Cover.
Originally published in Italian: L'odore della notte. Palermo : Sellerio Editore, 2001.
Physical Description
229 p.
Main Author
Andrea Camilleri (-)
Other Authors
Stephen Sartarelli, 1954- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

When Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series made its U.S. debut in 2002, we noted that Montalbano put a comic face on the noir world, sorting through multiple layers of Sicilian corruption while still finding time for a good lunch. Things have changed a bit now that we're six novels into the series. Montalbano still finds time for a good lunch, but his world is growing steadily darker and more melancholy. This time, half the retirees in Vigata have been swindled out of their savings by the handsome, smooth-talking general manager of King Midas Associates, who may, in turn, have run afoul of the Mafia. Meanwhile, Montalbano's relationship with his lover, Livia, is disintegrating, as is the landscape of his beloved Sicily. It's all getting too much for the beleaguered Montalbano, and though he solves the case of the missing swindler, he is somehow diminished by everything around him. Camilleri's hero may be more vulnerable now, but the series is richer than ever, less smooth but with more bite, less Sangiovese and more Barolo. ((Reviewed December 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

When smooth-talking "financier" Emanuale Gargano disappears along with the pensioners' savings he's been investing, Sicilian inspector Salvo Montalbano (The Snack Thief ) figures Gargano is either lounging with beautiful women on a tropical isle or feeding the fishes, courtesy of the Mafia. But Gargano's young male associate also is missing, and the inspector learns that both men are gay. Meanwhile, pensioners clamor for their savings, and Montalbano outfoxes his supervising commissioner on a personal matter while bickering with his lover Livia by telephone. A crisp, sassy series, even laugh-out-loud funny at moments, with a grounding of humanity that shows particularly at the end; Montalbano is a character worth getting to know. Camilleri lives in Rome. [Page 103]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An intricate plot and a large cast of memorable characters help lift the sixth Inspector Montalbano mystery from Camilleri (The Snack Thief , etc.). When a ragioniere (financier) disappears with millions of lire after defrauding many investors in a pyramid scheme, the middle-aged Sicilian detective uses both official and unofficial channels, as the mood takes him, to form, test and eventually prove his own theories. The fun is in the process, as Montalbano flouts the law on occasion, tweaks his superiors, badgers his associates and wheedles information from various sources. The endearing inspector is, by his own admission, both glutton and gourmand, and the meals prepared for him both at home and in restaurants are large, frequent and lavish. Sly humor, an eye for beauty, a disdain for clichés and fools plus a first-rate intelligence make him formidable both as a detective and as a companion. (Dec.) [Page 42]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

As he investigates a complex financial scam that has cost the life savings of half the retirees in Vigàta, Sicilian Inspector Montalbano confronts challenges in both his personal and professional life as he deals with a hostile superior, an estrangement from his lover Livia, and the increasing violence that is tearing Sicily apart. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

“You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen. Aglow with local color, packed with flint-dry wit, as fresh and clean as Mediterranean seafood — altogether transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano.” A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the WindowHalf the retirees in Vigáta have invested their savings with a financial wizard who has disappeared, along with their money. As Montalbano investigates this labyrinthine financial scam, he finds himself at a serious disadvantage: a hostile superior has shut him out of the case, he’s on the outs with his lover Livia, and his cherished Sicily is turning so ruthless and vulgar that Montalbano wonders if any part of it is worth saving. Drenched with atmosphere, crackling with wit, The Smell of the Night is Camilleri at his most addictive.