The Age of Doubt

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $15 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-14-312092-6
Near the start of Camilleri’s exquisite 14th mystery featuring Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after 2011’s The Potter’s Field), the self-deprecating, passionately foul-mouthed Sicilian policeman befriends a young woman, Vanna Digiulio, while both are stranded in a traffic jam during a storm that’s washed out the coast road. Vanna’s claim to have been on her way to Vigàta to meet her aunt’s yacht, the Vanna, strikes the inspector as suspicious. When the yacht docks with the disfigured body of a man that the Vanna picked up from a dinghy adrift near the harbor mouth, Montalban informs the boat’s owner, an imperious signora, that she must remain in port while he investigates the man’s murder. His proposal that she stay with her niece elicits the reply, “What niece?” The awkward humanity and everyday sadness of Camilleri’s characters make them instantly sympathetic, while wry commentary on language, food, and local customs lend color. Agent: Agenzia Letteraria Internationale. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2012
Release date: 05/29/2012
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