Camilleri, Andrea - 'The Scent of the Night' (translated by Stephen Sartarelli)
THE SCENT OF THE NIGHT is the sixth in the Sicilian based Inspector Montalbano series following on from last year's EXCURSION TO TINDARI which was shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger.
I'm not convinced that this one is quite as good but it's certainly very enjoyable and should raise a few chuckles as well.
Montalbano is called out to a hostage situation where an old man has a gun on the secretary of a small financial company. The owner of the company has vanished along with numerous people's life savings. The local opinion is that the guy is either sleeping with the fishes or is living it up on a tropical island. Defusing this situation, Montalbano then takes an interest in the case, which before, had been the purview of the fraud squad.
As usual his loyal assistant Mimi is having woman troubles and cold feet as his wedding draws near and there are the phone fights with his mainland-based girlfriend Livia and of course, the mouth-watering descriptions of food. Into this familiar setting the author continues to slide in a few political digs. The plot isn't particularly strong - the cover is a bit of a giveaway - but an author who can make the reader reach for a tissue over the death of a fictional Saracen olive tree is something special.
Read another review of THE SCENT OF THE NIGHT.
Karen Meek, England