Monday, November 03, 2014

The Fourth Secret by Andrea Camilleri

First Line: Why did he find himself, at about three in the morning, hiding in a doorway, following Catarella's movements?

Inspector Salvo Montalbano's sleep is being disturbed by dreams, but his waking hours are soon filled with a murder investigation. Someone in the area has a blatant disregard for safety regulations, and six people have died in the past month as a result of workplace "accidents." Montalbano's highly developed nose for trouble tells him that these deaths are not accidents, and he's determined to find out what's really going on.

Once again, Andrea Camilleri has written a brilliant short story that's a perfect addition to his Montalbano canon. This little investigation is sure to please his fans as well as entice new readers with its deft plotting and wonderful characterizations. What is certain to thrill long-time fans the most is the fact that Montalbano works a case with the inimitable Catarella. Mimi is busy investigating a series of break-ins, and since Montalbano insists on working a case that's not in his jurisdiction, Fazio doesn't want a thing to do with it. So Montalbano is left with Catarella which means there's even more humor in this story than usual, and some of it is hilarious slapstick.

I only have one small complaint about "The Fourth Secret"-- it isn't translated by the superb Stephen Sartarelli. This translation by Rizzo and Siracusa works well, but it's a bit like stepping down to a Ford Focus when your normal ride is a Ferrari. Those readers who are used to Sartarelli's work on Camilleri's novels will notice the difference.

But it's a small quibble, and I would not have missed a chance to watch Montalbano and Catarella working together for the world!

The Fourth Secret by Andrea Camilleri
Translated from the Italian by Gianluca Rizzo and Dominic Siracusa
eISBN: 9781497686465
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore © 2014
eBook, 77 pages

Short Story, Inspector Salvo Montalbano mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley


  1. Hmmmm... I'm such a big fan of this series, so there's no doubt I'll read and probably love this book. But Sartarelli didn't translate it? Disappointing. Still, as you say, certainly not enough to put me off reading and loving it.

    1. For my money, Sartarelli is one of the very best translators in the business.

  2. Ditto on Sartarelli's translations. And he can be hilarious, too.

    I just read Angelica's Smile, the last Montalbano book I could find. It was fine, although I think it wasn't a stand-out book, as were some of the earlier ones. After all, the author is quite elderly and has written a large canon about our favorite Sicilian curmudgeonly detective.

    I'd love to read this short story. Where is it available? Thanks.

    1. It's a digital short story, Kathy, and I see that it's available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.


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