Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri, 286 pages
translated by Stephen Sartarelli
continuing mystery series review questions
Give a brief summary of the book:
A young man is found killed outside his apartment building; an elderly couple, who happen to live in the same building, are missing after taking a sudden trip to a religious shrine in Tindari. Mimi is engaged to be married and is planning to transfer away from Vigata. And in Sicily, the mafia is always around the corner with their finger in everything.
The setting and the food of southern Italy are fantastic; the metaphors Camilleri used for Inspector Salvo to solve his case as he lay under a Saracen olive tree; silly Catarelli, who mangles the language but can use a computer to help Salvo, provides comic relief; the endnotes by Sartarelli added to the story greatly as he explained how he translated some words to keep the meaning that Camilleri meant, including puns or plays on words that really need to be explained to keep the meaning; the mystery.
Inspector Salvo Montalbano is sexist and manipulative of his friends and is not nice to his girlfriend at all - is it an Italian cultural thing or is Montalbano particularly crude? But he inspires great loyalty from his friends and colleagues regardless.
Camilleri writes a nice little mystery and gives a great sense of place. The books are not completely dependent on each other to read, but some of the characters appear without a lot of their backstory. I always prefer to read in order, but it would still be good.