cover image The Pyramid of Mud

The Pyramid of Mud

Andrea Camilleri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $16 tr

The shooting death of Giugiù Nicotra, his body found inside a huge pipe on a muddy construction site, propels Camilleri’s irresistible 22nd Inspector Montalbano mystery set in Vigàta, Sicily (after A Nest of Vipers). Nicotra, the chief accountant for the construction firm Rosapina, lived nearby with his German-born wife, Inge, and an unidentified older man, both of whom are missing. At the victim’s house, Montalbano discovers a bullet casing and other clues to the killing, but it’s outside actions that galvanize his investigation. A reporter attributes Nicotra’s murder to his wife’s adultery and attacks the inspector’s handling of the case, a Rosapina lawyer accuses Nicotra of stealing a gun from his office, a German lawyer says that Inge has returned to Germany, and yet another attorney escorts a man into Montalbano’s office to confess to the crime. Despite feeling his age, Montalbano manages to arrive at a solution to the puzzle with his customary cunning, humor, and fearlessness. Readers will hope he lives forever. [em]Agent: Donatella Barbieri, Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale (Italy). (Jan.) [/em]