The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea CamilleriThe Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Series: Commissario Montalbano #2
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks on January 1, 2006 (first published 1996)
Genres: Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 28 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious tête à tête with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old crime takes him on a journey through Sicily's past and into a family's dark heart amidst the horrors of World War II bombardment.

I’ve been reading the Commissario Montalbano out-of-order over the last few years. I enjoy them but not enough to go out of my way to read them. Most I’ve picked up on audio from the library when they’ve been available.

I like Montalbano. He’s amusing in a crass way. He’s as interested in literature and food as he is catching criminals. He can be philosophical one moment and wise-cracking the next. He cynical, but also has a soft side. He can be tough as nails, but the idea of a promotion or talking in front of the media terrifies him.

This time around we’ve got two things going. There’s a Mafia gun situation and the mystery of the two people killed 50 years ago. I like that both get solved. The current mystery needs to be dealt with, but the older one captures Montalbano’s imagination.

The secondary characters are well-developed, even those that end up dead.

The mysteries were well done. The present day situation had well-placed clues, but it was the historical one that really carried the book for me. The details of Italy during the was were interesting as was how and what people remember.

The narrator did a good job with the book, projected Montalbano’s attitude well. And I enjoy hearing the names and places and dishes, rather than stumbling over them myself.


About Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri (born September 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries. Camilleri lives in Rome where he works as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date, and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and North America.

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