Author(s): Andrea Camilleri
The Terracotta Dog opens with a mysterious tete-a-tete with a mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist and some dying words that lead Inspector Montalbano to a secret grotto in a mountain cave where two young lovers, dead fifty years and still embracing, are watched over by a life-size terracotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old crime takes him, heedless of personal danger, on a journey through the island's past and into a family's dark heart amid the horrors of World War II.
With sly wit and a keen understanding of human nature, Montalbano is a detective whose earthiness, compassion and intelligence make him totally irresistible.
(...) So, I read two Andrea Camilleri novels, The Shape of Water and The Terracotta Dog. Camilleri's novels are set in Sicily and follow the fortunes of Inspector Salvo Montalbano, the corruption and the mafia lurking in the background gives you a feeling for life in small-town Sicily. I also enjoy Montalbano's enthusiasm for food, with mouth-watering descriptions of the contents of his fridge and what is on offer at his favourite restaurant, there is an engaging cast of police officers and a degree of humour that make these particularly enjoyable. - Susi
It hasn't been a month for concentration so I’ve particularly appreciated books that draw you in and pull you along. An older Andrea Camilleri title, The Terracotta Dog, sees Inspector Montalban in fine form and I think the writing is slightly tighter and less played-for-laughs than the later novels in the series. - Tim
'Camilleri writes with such vigour and wit that he deserves a place alongside Michael Dibdin and Donna Leon' Sunday Times
Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy's most famous contemporary writers. The Montalbano Mysteries have been best-sellers all over Europe. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator. He lives in France.