cover image The Sicilian Method

The Sicilian Method

Andrea Camilieri, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-1431-3497-8

At the start of the late bestseller Camilieri’s enjoyable 26th mystery featuring Sicily’s Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after The Safety Net), Montalbano’s colleague Mimi Augello calls on the inspector early one morning to report that he discovered a dead man in a darkened apartment while fleeing an interrupted tryst with a married lover. When Mimi returns to the apartment with Montalbano in tow, the body is gone. Meanwhile, someone fatally stabs prickly theater director Carmelo Catalanotti, who was also a loan shark. As Montalbano investigates both cases, he begins an affair with the new chief of forensics, Antonia Nicoletti, which consumes him to the point that his longtime, long-distance girlfriend, Livia, breaks up with him. In an intriguing twist, Montalbano finds clues to the crimes in Catalanotti’s detailed dossiers on his borrowers and actors, who harbored hard feelings about casting Dangerous Corner, a labyrinthine English play of violence and betrayal. The blend of farce, sexual shenanigans, and strangely intense community theater intrigues as it amuses. Though Camilieri died in 2019, fans can hope that there’s at least one more adventure to come for his aging, cynical police inspector. Agent: Carmen Prestia, Alferjeprestia (Italy). (Oct.)