cover image The Dance of the Seagull

The Dance of the Seagull

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-312261-6

Camilleri's agreeable 15th Insp. Salvo Montalbano mystery (after 2012's Age of Doubt) finds the Sicilian detective sitting on the deck of his home in Vig%C3%A0ta, watching a seagull performing a strange death dance. The image hovers in his mind during the events that follow, the first of which is the disappearance of his right-hand man, Fazio. This news is delivered by one of his men at the police station, the devoted Catarella, who speaks in a slang that, however appropriate to his character, sounds in translation like that of a cheesy B-movie Mafia character. Nevertheless, the wonderfully rendered camaraderie between Catarella and Montalbano is one of the book's highlights. In addition to searching for the missing Fazio, Montalbano tries to identify a body found in a deserted well. Both investigations are pieces of a larger, satisfying mystery in which Montalbano investigates, among other things, the docks and late-night deliveries from fishing trawlers. (Mar.)