It’s the heat of Sicily in August that is the main character in the latest entry in Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano mystery Series. Montalbano is as melancholy as ever, but the heat is making him more morose. It is even too hot to eat.
Camilleri always interjects some new information about Sicily. In this case it is the heat of Sicily in August and the rather lax building codes that exist in this part of Italy (actually given what happen in L’Aquila after the earthquake this may be the case everywhere in Italy). There is also a rather short description of what happens on Montalbano’s least favorite of holiday’s: Ferragosto. Ferragosto, August 15, is Italy’s biggest holiday of the summer. It is a day off for almost everyone which leaves the beaches littered with trash and with garbage floating in the waters off Vigata.
Once again Montalbano takes long swims to escape the heat, defies the Italian bureaucracy and struggles with his complex relationship with his long suffering love Livia. As has been apparent in the last few Montalbano books the Inspector is feeling his age more and more and that perhaps is causing him to behave a little strangely and out of character. And as is the case in most of his books Camilleri cannot avoid taking a swipe at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The mystery is resolved close to the end of the book, but there are a number of loose ends left to be addressed in the next entry in this very entertaining series. As always with this series the mystery surrounding the murder is secondary to the characters and to Sicily itself.