Thursday, January 03, 2019

Angelica's Smile by Andrea Camilleri

First Line: He awoke with a start and sat up in bed, eyes already open.

A rash of burglaries has Inspector Salvo Montalbano stumped, and it just adds insult to injury when he begins receiving menacing letters from the mastermind behind the thefts.

One of those who've been burgled is beautiful young Angelica Cosulich, who soon has Montalbano mentally reciting passages from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Completely captivated by the young woman, Montalbano doesn't begin to snap out of his romantic fog until one of the burglars turns up dead. Now he knows that it's time to stop with the poetry and get back to work.

I needed a little pick-me-up when I began reading Angelica's Smile, and Camilleri had me laughing within the first twenty-five pages. The comedy team of Montalbano and Catarella is pure magic.

But this seventeenth book in the series isn't all slapstick comedy played for laughs. Unfortunately, Montalbano's lover Livia makes an appearance, and since she's the type of woman who lives to play the diva and to fight and argue I always pout when she shows up. I am thrilled to report that I didn't pout for very long.

While I'm immersing myself in the wonderful food and the brilliant characters of Camilleri's series, I'm also learning things-- like why prosecutors in Italy are against tapping telephones. Then there are the ingenious burglaries to be enjoyed, and they weren't resolved in the manner that I thought they would be, so that was icing on the literary cake.

It's always a pleasure to spend time with this aging inspector. Readers are guaranteed mouth-watering meals, plenty of laughs, mind-boggling crimes to solve, and Montalbano himself-- the all-too-human man of dreams whose head can be turned by a pretty face. This character is so real that, if I ever found myself in Sicily, I'd have to resist the temptation to look him up to ask for restaurant recommendations. Long live Camilleri! Long live Montalbano!

Angelica's Smile by Andrea Camilleri
ISBN: 9780143123767
Penguin Books © 2014
Paperback, 304 pages

Police Procedural, #17 Inspector Montalbano mystery
Rating: A
Source: Paperback Swap



  1. It's always a cause to smile when a new Camilleri comes out, isn't it, Cathy? I really enjoy this series, even when Livia makes an appearance... I love the wit, the food, the culture, and, oh, yeah, the cases, too.

    1. I'm probably one of the few people who don't care for Livia!

  2. Am reading "The Pyramids of Mud," and on page 4, Catarella made me laugh at 4 a.m. So one can always count on Camillri.

    1. That usually means that Catarella makes an early appearance. I love it when that happens.

  3. Yes. He does in this one, aggravating Montelbano, of course.

    Watched season 2 of TV Beck yesterday. A bit more lurid and gory than the books, but I am pulled in anyway. Like the cast. A lot of feeling for a Nordic mystery.


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