Thursday, April 15, 2010

FEATURE: Detectives Around the World

Welcome to my latest edition of Detectives Around the World, hosted by Jen's Book Thoughts. Today, we visit Sicily and enjoy a meal.

Inspector Salvo Montalbano is fictional, as written by Andrea Camilleri, as are Vigata and Montelusa, two locations that figure prominently in the series. But Sicily has begun to capitalize on the interest of tourists to see the places that Camilleri writes about and where Montalbano lives and works. If you are a fan of the Montalbano books and are planning to visit Sicily, you can arrange a tour of towns like Vigata, and you can visit locations from the books. Let them know which is your favorite book, and they will build a tour around it.

(I live on Prince Edward Island, and and somewhat familiar with this phenomena. There is a very famous red-head orphan from PEI that thousands of tourists come to visit, even though she is very fictional. The author, LM Montgomery, was from here, and there are many real locations associated with Montgomery. But there is also a whole tourist industry built around Anne of Green Gables, and while it sometimes seems tacky to the locals, few tourists are disappointed by their time on Prince Edward Island.)

The Church of Vigàta (Cathedral of San Giorgio - Ragusa Ibla)

Here's a tour description:

You'll follow in the steps of Inspector Montalbano and the other members
of his team: his second-in-charge Mimì Augello, the efficient Fazio, the likable Catarella. We make our way into Vigata in the province of Montelusa and stop in front of the police station (Scicli). Few steps away is the Questura or Commissioner's office of Montelusa. Then, we drive to Ragusa Ibla to see the Church of Vigata (Cathedral of San Giorgio) and other locations featured in "The Shape of the Water", "The Voice of the Violin" "The Snack Thief". Stop for lunch at "Trattoria San Calogero", the restaurant that Montalbano goes to.

When I win the lottery.....

Speaking of lunch, let's look at something that Salvo might have for a meal. It has to be fresh, preferably from the sea, with few ingredients. This looks about right.

Scallops with Parsley and Garlic


  • 16 large sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Remove muscle from each scallop. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 scallops; sauté 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Set aside, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 8 scallops. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Add butter to pan; reduce heat, and cook until butter melts. Stir in parsley and garlic, and cook 15 seconds. Return scallops to pan; toss to coat.

(picture and recipe taken from