Monday, March 10, 2008

BOOK: The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri

The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
translated by Stephen Sartarelli

in a series challenge; what's in a name: animal in title category

Inspector Salvo Montalbano's second mystery finds him discovering two bodies in a cave, set up as a tableau guarded by a terra cotta dog since the second world war. He wants to discover who the couple were and why they were killed. Along the way he will eat very well, be rude to his fellow policemen, be an ass to his girlfriend, eat some more, string along a couple other girls, give a terrible press conference, and be rude to a few more people. He's not a nice man, but he is smart, and will do anything to solve his crime.

Camilleri writes this series partly as a police procedural, and he doesn't let the reader in on everything as Salvo is figuring out. I like the setting, southern Italy in the little town of Viageta on Sicily, the descriptions of the food, and even cranky, rude Salvo. The language might be a little crude for some readers; it doesn't bother me but be forewarned.

Here's the series standing for me: (I read the 4th book first, yuck for reading out of order)

1. The Shape of Water 2002 (La forma dell’acqua - 1994)
2. Terra Cotta Dog 2002 (Il cane di terracotta - 1996) Mar 10/08
3. The Snack Thief 2003 (Il ladro di merendine - 1996)
4. The Voice of the Violin 2003 (La voce del violino - 1997)
5. Excursion to Tindari - 2005 (La gita a Tindari - 2000)
6. The Scent of the Night - 2005 (L’odore della notte - 2001)
7. Rounding the Mark - 2006 (Il giro di boa - 2003)
8. The Patience of the Spider - 2007 (La pazienza del ragno - 2004)
9. The Paper Moon - 2008 (La Luna di Carta - 2005)
10. La Vampa d'Agosto - 2006
11. Le Ali della Sfinge - 2006
12. La pista di Sabbia - 2007


  1. Sounds like a good series. I may skip because of the language. Sure appreciate the heads up on that.

  2. booklogged - the language is a bit abrupt, and it is hard to know if it was orginally written that way or if it's the translation. I did feel I should warn some people.


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