cover image Hunting Season

Hunting Season

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $15 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-14-312653-9

First published in 1992, this bawdy little gem from the author of the Inspector Montalbano series (Treasure Hunt, etc.) shares a theme with the Alex Guinness movie classic Kind Hearts and Coronets and possesses a wit that Boccaccio would have appreciated. On January 1, 1880, Santo Alfonso de’ Liguori arrives by boat at the Sicilian port of Vigata, where he rents and renovates a house with a pharmacy below and living quarters above. De’ Liguori is actually Alfonso “Fofò” La Matina, who disappeared 20 years earlier from Vigata when he was about 10 years old, after escaping from the masked men who murdered his father, a farmhand “who had a magic garden in a secret place.” Someone who recognizes the older Fofò ominously notes that “tomorrow hunting season opens.” As the “accidental” deaths begin to multiply, the delightfully quirky residents of Vigata indulge in endless rumors and speculation. Agent: Donatella Barbieri, Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale (Italy). (Apr.)