On any good treasure map, X always marks the spot, whether it be a kids game or in a pirate book. The Treasure Hunt in Andrea Camilleri’s book, is not a good hunt. Not only is there no X to mark the spot, but the “treasure” is gruesome.
Title: Treasure Hunt (Inspector Montalbano #16)
Author: Andrea Camilleri
Translated by: Stephen Sartarelli
Read by: Grover Gardner
Audio published: September 24, 2013 by Blackstone Audio (first published 2010)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Audible | Amazon | Book Depository
A hail of bullets interrupts a period of dead calm. An elderly brother and sister open fire on the piazza below their apartment, punishing the people of Vigàta for their sins. Montalbano is hailed as a hero when news cameras film him scaling a building — gun in hand — to capture the ancient pair of unlikely snipers.
Shortly after, the inspector begins to receive cryptic messages in verse from someone challenging him to go on a “treasure hunt.” Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles — until they take a dangerous turn.
The opening of the book was strong, with the two elderly siblings opening fire, but I was little disappointed in the whole treasure hunt set up that followed. It just seems a little hokey. A slightly crazy guy sets up this “treasure hunt” as a kind of duel between him and Montalbano. It just seemed a little easy as a plot, if that makes sense. We’ll give Montalbano little poem clues to follow and watch as he figures it out. The bad guy was a little too obvious too. It’s a dark mystery, but humorous at times too.
Putting that bit aside, I liked Montalbano this time around. Montalbano’s feeling his age, but he doesn’t dwell on it overly much. He has his usual woman troubles, but they take a back seat to the story, even though I don’t know why his girlfriend stays with him. Gardner does a good job as narrator here. he sounds like Montalbano, clever, sarcastic, amusing. When I listened to The Potter’s Field (same author and same reader), I had trouble keeping all the characters straight, but this time around either I know them better and recognize the differences in tone and vocabulary or Gardner was better at distinguishing them, because I didn’t have any difficulty. Or maybe I’m getting better at listening.
As a mystery, it was barely okay, but I enjoyed the characters. They’re characters I already knew though. Montalbano is not a fun man. He’s brooding and distant, a bit melancholy, I don’t know that I would like him if this is the first time I met him. I don’t think this is worth picking up if you’re not a Montalbano fan, but I’m glad I listened to it.
Inspector Montalbano series
- The Shape of Water (Italian: La forma dell’acqua)
- The Terra-Cotta Dog (Italian: Il cane di terracotta)
- The Snack Thief (Italian: Il ladro di merendine)
- Voice of the Violin (Italian: La voce del violino)
- The Excursion to Tindari (Italian: La gita a Tindari )
- The Smell of the Night (APA: The Scent of the Night) (Italian: L’odore della notte)
- Rounding the Mark (Italian: Il giro di boa )
- The Patience of the Spider (Italian: La pazienza del ragno)
- The Paper Moon (Italian: La luna di carta)
- August Heat (Italian: La vampa d’agosto)
- The Wings of the Sphinx (Italian: Le ali della sfinge)
- The Track of Sand (Italian: La pista di sabbia )
- The Potter’s Field (Italian: Il campo del vasaio)
- The Age of Doubt (Italian: L’età del dubbio)
- The Dance of the Seagull (Italian: La danza del gabbiano)
- The Treasure Hunt (Italian: La caccia al tesoro)
- Angelica’s Smile (Italian: Il sorriso di Angelica)
- The Game of Mirrors (Italian: Il gioco degli specchi)
- A Blade of Light (Italian: Una lama di luce)
Good stuff. Congrats on your A2Z blog 🙂
16, that is a lot
Hmm never heard of them. Do you recommend the earlier ones?
I loved the first one, which I read in print. The others have been okay, but I’m reading them out of order, which may not be the best option.
Probably not one I’m going to pick up. Like your use of x though 🙂