Date Started: 23 July 2021
Date Completed: 26 July 2021
Source: Amazon India Kindle Store
The Shape of Water is the first in Andrea Camilleri’s wry, brilliantly compelling Sicilian crime series, featuring Inspector Montalbano.
The goats of Vigàta once grazed on the trash-strewn site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavour. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture. The coroner’s verdict is death from natural causes – refreshingly unusual for Sicily.
But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case – even though he’s being pressured by Vigàta’s police chief, judge, and bishop.
Picking his way through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower, and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the matter.
The Shape of Water is followed by the second in this phenomenal series, The Terracotta Dog.Goodreads: The Shape of Water
- I discovered this in the weirdest way. I had gone for Italian dinner just before my anniversary and the restaurant offered arancini. I looked arancini up and the Wikipedia entry said that Inspect Montalbano enjoys them. Wishlisted, and five months later, actually started the series.
- The solution to the murder mystery is that there is no murder. The mystery is about why the corpse is there and not anywhere else. And the solution is kind of meh.
- Instead we get a subplot about the ethics of what Montalbano does.
- All in all, this wasn’t a murder mystery but a weird and fun story anyway.
- Although the wikipedia entry talks about how the series talks so much about the food Montalbano eats (and makes, too, as I found out reading it) – somehow this didn’t set off Italian food cravings the way The Widows of Malabar Hill set off Parsi food cravings.