Monday, December 15, 2014

The Paper Moon - Andrea Camilleri


In The Paper Moon, a woman comes to the police to report her brother missing.  Montalbano goes to her brother's apartment with her and they find him dead, shot in the face and with his trousers 'in disarray', to put it politely.  Michela, the sister, is certain that his married mistress, Elena, did it in a jealous rage.

Montalbano interviews the beautiful and sexy Elena and falls under her spell.  Maybe.  He believes her story and thinks that someone else must have killed the man.  They discover that he, an ex-physician turned pharmaceutical rep, has been moving cocaine for one of Sicily's mob families.  The last batch he distributed for them had been fatal for several of their well-known clients.  A couple of politicians died, their causes of death hidden, of course, to protect their good names.  Surely the mob offed the man for screwing up.

Not so fast.  Let's look at the suspects again.

I enjoy this series of Sicilian mysteries with Inspector Salvo Montalbano as the main character.  I have a picture of him in my mind, though, that doesn't seem to jibe with the way he's portrayed in the TV series (which I haven't been able to get on Netflix).  I like that he lives alone in a house on the beach, that he has a long-term, long-distance relationship with a sometimes difficult woman, Livia, that he likes to eat and his meals are often described in detail, and that he's intuitive, which all good detectives should be.  I like him so much I don't really care if there's a mystery involved, I just want to read about his life.

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