Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Game of Mirrors", another entertainment from Andrea Camilleri

In April, this latest translation of a mystery novel by Andrea Camilleri was published here in the states.  His Montalbano detective series set in Sicily now has a total of 17 books, and most that have been translated have been read here, maybe 10 or 12.  They are what they are as far as detective plots go, but with uncharacteristic humor and self reflection by Montalbano, the protagonist and colorful detective with a hearty appetite.

Having not read a new one in maybe two years this was a wonderful diversion.  Camilleri's wry, subtle, and at times sardonic humor is on full display in the opening section of the book, more so and more entertaining than memory recalls.  That contrasts with the closing two chapters of the book in which the violent crimes being investigated are more gruesome than remembered as the norm.

Often Camilleri's books have an underlying social cause, but this one has none.  What looks like a local crime of passion turns out to be a crime war between Sicily's two major crime families, and as always Camilleri does not hide their titles.  Everyone in Italy already knows them.

Two Montalbano themes are consistent with all other books, and those are the detective's love of food and large leisurely meals, and his constant ruminating about the affects of his 60'ish aging on his capabilities and his pace of life.  Those two themes entertain and continue to develop this multi-book character.

For those who might be new to this series, it is not possible to know their reaction.  Take a chance and buy the paperback for a plane ride.  To those who have followed Montalbano for a decade or more, the book is a treat that gives a couple of days of relaxation that cannot be duplicated by any television or film, at least that's the firm opinion here.

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