The Picador blog has been running a short series about the novels of Andrea Camilleri this month, to celebrate the recent paperback publication in the UK of The Paper Moon, the ninth in the author's Inspector Montalbano series.
In the first post, Size does matter, Sue Magee asks why she so often reaches for a Camilleri novel when she wants to read for pleasure – what does Montalbano have that other fictional detectives lack?
Second up is the world-renowned Italian crime-fiction and historical expert, Norman Price, on Appreciating Camilleri. Erudition, a sense of place, cookery, plot, characterisation – Norman believes that "it is the charm and wit of Salvo Montalbano, the liccu cannartu, that are the enduring reasons for reading these books."
Today it is my turn, with a review of The Paper Moon, which among other remarks, I call "a satisfying detective story in the Sherlock Holmes tradition, with the complex interplay of the Italian political culture and Sicilian organized crime providing an edgy, sharp focus."
But the tour de force will be on Monday, when the translator of these novels, the poet Stephen Sartarelli, will write a post about his work. The expert translations, with their fascinating glossaries, contribute enormously to the brilliance of these novels. I can't wait, and I urge you to check out the Picador blog on Monday to read the inside story of the delights and challenges of translating the books.
A bibliography and links to reviews of Camilleri's other books, including Michelle Peckham's very good take on The Paper Moon, can be found at Euro Crime.