Sunday, July 6, 2008

BOOK: The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri

The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri (translated by Stephen Sartarelli)

Orbis Terrarum: Italy; in a series

I discovered this Italian mystery series at book number four. I hate reading a series out of order, but I found The Voice of the Violin on the marked down table at Indigo before I went on my Mediterranean cruise in 2006. I loved the cover and the idea of reading an Italian book while in Italy. I loved the character of Inspector Montalbano (Valentino wrote a lovely post on the appeal of Montalbano and Camilleri) and so then started at the beginning. The Snack Thief is the third book, the one just before where I started.

Camilleri is getting into the swing of the series by the third book, and I am beginning to keep all the characters straight. I tend to read names in a book like a picture, that is, I don't say the name, those letters just represent that person. When I read books with foreign names that are not as familiar to me, I have a more difficult time assigning the name to a character, because the letters are distinct enough. I'm not sure I've explained that well, but it's how I read. Anyway, the series and characters are developing nicely and I might have to read the next book, which I've already read, to keep the flow of the series. I am remembering things that happened in The Voice of the Violin that this book set up. It all makes sense now.

As I wrote in my Miss Julia review, the plot of a series doesn't really matter so I'll just say that Montalbano is his usual grumpy self, and the food descriptions make my mouth water and make me dream of spending a year on Sicily, drinking wine and eating pasta and fish. I'll just have to read the next book in the series.


  1. That's odd, I believe I picked The Snack Thief too for the same challenge. Or maybe I picked it because you reminded me earlier (I'm not sure now), but whichever, now I need to go get this from interlibrary loan since I know our library won't have this. It's about time for another mystery anyway and this would be a great one. Also thanks for the links to Valentina's Room and her insights on the series.

  2. Hi-

    We saw that you'd blogged about Camilleri's Montalbano books and thought you might be interested in a piece on the Picador blog from Stephen Sartarelli, on the subject of translating Camilleri's Montalbano books:

    Best wishes,
    Picador blog team


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