cover image A Voice in the Night

A Voice in the Night

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-14-312644-7

The case at the heart of bestseller Camilleri’s sardonic 20th mystery featuring Sicily’s Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after 2015’s A Beam of Light) starts innocuously with the report of a supermarket burglary. But since locals know that the enterprise is owned by the Cuffaro family, it’s clear that something else is going on—and, sure enough, within hours there’s a related suicide of the supermarket’s manager, previously accountant for several Cuffaro businesses, which probably isn’t a suicide at all. As if pressure from the commissioner over Montalbano’s handling of the probe weren’t headache enough, a night watchman who may have seen too much vanishes. Like some of the Sicilian delicacies that provide the inspector a brief respite from his labors, Camilleri’s mix of the harrowing and the humorous is at times an acquired taste—particularly Montalbano’s language-butchering assistant Catarella (“I beck yer partin’ for distrubbin’ yiz!”), who could have stepped straight out of a Marx Brothers movie. Agent: Donatella Barbieri, Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale (Italy). (Nov.)