Translator: Stephen Sartarelli
Narrator: Grove Gardner
Series: Commissario Montalbano #4
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks on May 1, 2008 (first published 1997)
Length: 5 hrs 17 mins
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Inspector Montalbano's gruesome discovery of the body of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate. But it is a reclusive violinist who holds the key to the murder. Montalbano does not disappoint, bringing his compelling mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food to solve another riveting mystery.
It’s been a while since I listened to a Commissario Montalbano mystery, but Voice of the Violin was part of Audible’s 2-for-1 deal, so I picked it up. They’re always enjoyable, well-thought-out mysteries and I love the cast of characters.
In Voice of the Violin a young woman has been murdered and Montalbano is determined to find the killer, in spite of his new boss’s manipulations. Montalbano may not always do things the legal way, but for him finding the truth is more important. Even though it’s a pretty gruesome murder, there’s humor sprinkled throughout the book that lightens it up. And Camilleri does a great job with depicting Sicily, the people, the weather, the food. These books always make me crave pasta – as if I didn’t already. I especially liked how the violin plays into this one.
I’m still not a fan of Montalbano’s relationship with his long-distance girlfriend Livia. I’m pretty sure I say that every time. Montalbano has no problem flirting with other women, he’s drawn to attractive women. He and Livia barely talk in this one and see each other I think once. If it weren’t for her the series would be perfect, but I’m pretty sure she stays around for the whole series. Always in the background though, which may be part of my annoyance. If you love her, she should play a major piece. I know the men he works with far better than her, and like them more too.
Voice of the Violin was a quick, good mystery. The clues were there and I wasn’t really surprised by the killer. As always in this series, the dialogue and setting are the highlights of the book. This one worked as a stand-alone (I always listen/read them out of order), but there was piece of the story that had it’s beginning in #3, The Snack Thief, which I haven’t read. I wasn’t lost by any means and it didn’t have anything to do with the actual mystery, but it’s worth noting.