Books by Stephen Sartarelli

THE OTHER END OF THE LINE  by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"Fans should especially enjoy the expanded role of the detective's lover in his droll, clever 24th outing."
Who could have murdered the lovely tailor without an enemy in the world? Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 5, 2019

"Another wry, amiable procedural from the prolific Camilleri (A Nest of Vipers, 2017, etc.), whose unflappably put-upon hero soldiers on no matter how absurd the crime or aggravating the situation."
Beleaguered Inspector Montalbano and his ragtag Sicilian force probe a twisty arson case and pursue a serial kidnapper with a surpassingly odd M.O. Read full book review >
DEATH AT SEA by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"This is a fine introduction for newcomers to Camilleri's work and, for the dedicated, eight examples of why Inspector Montalbano is so beloved."
Sicilian police inspector Montalbano returns in this collection of eight short cases. Read full book review >
THE SACCO GANG by Andrea Camilleri
Released: July 17, 2018

"The injustice here has an immediacy; the tale itself feels part of legend."
An Italian family goes from poverty to prosperity and then to infamy in this brisk account of the persecution the Mafia brought to 1920s Italy, based on a true story. Read full book review >
A NEST OF VIPERS by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"Expect the ending to make you squirm, though you have to admire Camilleri's ability to disarm horror with his particular charm; the town of Vigàta quietly soldiers on."
When you're a loan shark with an open liking for younger women, the occasional death threat maybe isn't so alarming. Read full book review >
Released: April 18, 2017

"A European historical footnote becomes a contemporary morality tale and a small, touching act of homage."
In a tragicomic parable of justice based on a true episode, the corrupt 17th-century power brokers of Sicily meet their match in a canny, revenge-driven female viceroy. Read full book review >
A VOICE IN THE NIGHT  by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Camilleri's trusty inspector keeps things lighthearted while catching powerful men with their pants down; you can trust in his razor-sharp investigative mind even as basic skills amusingly escape him."
When the distressed manager of a robbed supermarket winds up dead after being questioned, a seasoned investigator and his team are quick to discover that this crime has many layers. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Series fans will especially enjoy learning the origins of Montalbano and company. Though the title story is a bit low-stakes, newcomers may be sufficiently intrigued by Camilleri's droll humor and nifty storytelling to check out the rest of the series."
In the long title story that opens this collection, Camilleri shows sardonic Sicilian Inspector Montalbano, years before he became rumpled and stricken by a perpetual midlife crisis, with vigor and swag. Read full book review >
A BEAM OF LIGHT by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Montalbano's 19th outing has a more melancholy tone than his previous cases (Game of Mirrors, 2015, etc.) but also boasts a nifty, twisty mystery at its core."
A full plate of unsolved crimes is not enough to prevent a veteran Sicilian police inspector from flirting with disaster. Read full book review >
GAME OF MIRRORS by Andrea Camilleri
Released: March 31, 2015

" Brisk, biting and cleverly plotted, Montalbano's 18th (Angelica's Smile, 2014, etc.) is both droll and suspenseful."
Inspector Montalbano's growing obsession with an alluring neighbor may be clouding his judgment as he pursues an elusive bomber. Read full book review >
THE BREWER OF PRESTON by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Dec. 30, 2014

" Fans of Camilleri's long-running Inspector Montalbano series (Angelica's Smile, 2014, etc.) will be familiar with his brand of lusty lunacy, carried here to a degree that rivals Boccaccio."
In 19th-century Sicily, a cornucopia of craziness surrounds the première of an opera buffo in a small music-loving town.Read full book review >
ANGELICA'S SMILE by Andrea Camilleri
Released: June 24, 2014

"Montalbano's 18th recorded case (Treasure Hunt, 2013, etc.) is slight but sublime, with droll dialogue, colorful characters and a sleek pace."
The investigation of a string of burglaries becomes ticklishly complicated when the rumpled investigator finds himself entranced by one of the victims. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2014

"Bordelli and his vast and varied criminal acquaintance remain as appealing as ever, but this world-weary elegy is one slow-moving train."
Despite the title, Inspector Franco Bordelli's third adventure to reach these shores (Death and the Olive Grove, 2013, etc.) adds a mysterious murder in Bordelli's home base of Florence to the eponymous death. Read full book review >
TREASURE HUNT by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Montalbano's 16th case (The Dance of the Seagull, 2013, etc.) is his most entertaining in years, veering from slapstick humor to Grand Guignol with aplomb."
Inflatable sex dolls, the delivery of a sheep's head, Harry Potter run amok: What madness has Inspector Montalbano gotten himself into now? Read full book review >
THE AGE OF DOUBT by Stephen Sartarelli
Released: June 1, 2012

"Montalbano's 14th (The Potter's Field, 2011, etc.) delves more deeply into the hero's interior life than usual. A droll delight for series fans, maybe not so much for new readers. "
Has the implacable Inspector Montalbano been thrown off his game by a femme fatale—or worse, a whole clutch of them? Read full book review >
THE TRACK OF SAND by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Oct. 26, 2010

"Unlike Donna Leon's Venice, with its constant drip-drip-drip of official corruption, Camilleri's Sicily has long since surrendered to despairing ennui. Suave, resourceful Montalbano (The Wings of the Sphinx, 2010, etc.) is both its perfect expression and its best hope for an antidote."
Not even his home is safe from repeated violation in Chief Inspector Salvo Montalbano's latest case. Read full book review >
AUGUST HEAT by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Feb. 24, 2009

"Despite its noirish undertones, the perfect beach read for those lucky enough to have found suitable accommodations."
The victim in Inspector Salvo Montalbano's tenth case (The Paper Moon, 2008, etc.) has been waiting six years in a chest in an illegally constructed apartment. Read full book review >
THE PAPER MOON by Andrea Camilleri
Released: March 25, 2008

"Another solid Sicilian noir from the ironic pen of Camilleri (The Patience of the Spider, 2007, etc.)."
Two seductive suspects battle for the allegiance and libido of a weary detective. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2007

"Camilleri's character study deepens with every installment; his ironic eye is as sharp as ever. "
Inspector Montalbano uncovers the truth surrounding a high-profile kidnapping. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF SCORTA by Laurent Gaudé
Released: Jan. 24, 2006

"A fable for dummies."
The 2004 Prix Goncourt winner is a lachrymose Old World melodrama tracking several generations of an outlaw Italian family entrenched in a bygone Southern village. Read full book review >
EXCURSION TO TINDARI by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"From the leisurely opening movement to the final clatter of revelations, Camilleri presents Sicily with humor and without illusions."
Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano ponders a tricky question: What's the connection between a dead sexual athlete and an elderly neighboring couple? Read full book review >
VOICE OF THE VIOLIN by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Nov. 10, 2003

"Camilleri has ample opportunity to showcase Montalbano's droll misanthropy in his shaggiest adventure to date."
A dearth of evidence and an abundance of fools confound Sicilian sleuth Salvo Montalbano. Read full book review >
THE SNACK THIEF by Andrea Camilleri
Released: April 28, 2003

"After rambling a bit early on, the tale is enlivened and deepened by eleventh-hour surprises. Montalbano, blessedly, is as bitingly humorous as ever."
Bristly Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano is roused from a sweet dream of his mistress Livia by a blaring telephone and the nervous voice of detective Catarella announcing a murder. The body of semi-retired businessman Palmisano Lapecora, uncharacteristically dressed to the nines, was found aboard the elevator of his apartment building by Giuseppe, a cocky security guard. Antonietta, the widow, peppers Montalbano with unusual questions. Most of the Lapecoras' quirky neighbors don't want to get involved, but they do let it be known that Lapecora was enjoying an ongoing affair with Karima, a beautiful young Tunisian whose skills include housecleaning and probably prostitution. As usual (The Terra-Cotta Dog, 2002, etc.), Montalbano's path to a solution is complicated by amusingly incompetent coworkers and pesky distractions. Off the coast of Sicily, a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is gunned down by a Tunisian patrol boat. Could the cases be related? Montalbano's suspicion that Karima holds the key to his own mystery is confirmed when she disappears shortly after talking to him, leaving behind her sensitive young son, Francois. Even stranger, Livia unexpectedly volunteers to take care of Francois, and still more unexpectedly, displays a strong maternal instinct, something Montalbano has never seen in her before. And when her boorish male protégé Mimi offers to help Livia, Montalbano's jealousy surprises himself. Along with his midlife crisis, these developments lead him to some genuine soul-searching. Read full book review >
THE TERRA-COTTA DOG by Andrea Camilleri
Released: Nov. 2, 2002

"Montalbano's deadpan drollery and sharp observations refresh as much for their honesty as their wit. All he wants is a quiet corner and an uninterrupted afternoon; what reader feels otherwise?"
In the second installment of the popular Italian series (The Shape of Water, p. 454), rumpled Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano receives an unusual offer from crime kingpin Gaetano "The Greek" Bennici (known as Tano), facilitated by Montalbano's childhood friend Gege Gulotta, now a petty criminal and quite the weasel. Facing a health crisis, Tano wants Montalbano to stage a fake raid that will land him safely in custody (and in hospital), for a rejuvenating stay without a loss of face. Montalbano is dubious, but doesn't look this gift horse in the mouth. His superior investigative gifts are at odds with his slacker style, the latter a huge frustration to ambitious protégé Mimi and demanding mistress Livia and the windy police Commissioner, who tries to thrust an unwanted promotion on elusive Montalbano. Montalbano's force resembles the Keystone Kops. Their staged arrest of Tano flirts with hilarious disaster. Ultimately, Tano's enemies kill him, but the escapade leads Montalbano on a twisty hunt from a supermarket picked cleaned of merchandise to a cave where this booty is found, along with a cache of illegal arms. In a neighboring cave lies a 60-year-old murder mystery that becomes a surprising obsession and gives the book its title. The skeletons of two young lovers, long-forgotten, are discovered near the terra-cotta dog, a symbol of sleep from the Koran. Montalbano's investigation focuses more on academic research than witness questioning, but ends with perpetrators very much alive and dangerous. Read full book review >
THE SHAPE OF WATER by Andrea Camilleri
Released: May 20, 2002

"Subtle, sardonic, and molto simpatico: Montalbano is the Latin re-creation of Philip Marlowe, working in a place that manages to be both more and less civilized than Chandler's Los Angeles."
An elegant translation of the first in a popular Italian series, in which world-weary, empathetic Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano is handed a hot potato when the body of Silvio Luparello, a local politico, is found in the Pasture, the little town of Vigata's red-light district. The death seems to have occurred in flagrante of natural causes, but Montalbano's instincts tell him something is wrong. After years of patiently working behind the scenes, Luparello was about to take center stage. Why would he risk scandal by grazing in a place like the Pasture? Montalbano keeps the case open in spite of pressure from his supervisor, a judge, and a bishop to close it. Luparello's closest political ally, the lawyer Pietro Rizzo, then proposes an astonishing new alliance with Dr. Cardamone, an enemy of both Luparello and Rizzo. Is this maneuver related to several clues that place Cardamone's promiscuous daughter-in-law at the scene of Luparello's death? A lucrative reward is being offered through dubious channels for one such clue, a distinctive necklace taken from the scene by a poor garbage collector. When Luparello's dry-eyed widow insists that she knows what her husband's peccadilloes were and were not, Montalbano explores another network of crimes and desires, as tangled as the tentacles of that Sicilian specialty, the octopus. Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 2000

"While marching to the beat of a different drummer, Riotta's love story charms and warms the heart, even if the Colonel is stuffed too full of battle lore at times."
An intriguing romance—and Italian journalist Riotta's first to appear in English translation. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1999

The autobiography of a virology pioneer, the natural history of HIV/AIDS, and the story of the effort to combat the disease, all intertwined in an entertaining and enlightening package. The eminent virologist Montagnier, of the equally eminent Pasteur Institute in Paris, explains how he haphazardly found his way into his specialty. A childhood in France marred by the Occupation was followed by increasingly specialized work in medicine and biology. He makes breathtakingly clear the importance of ongoing AIDS research: 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS; in 1998, 5.8 million were newly infected with HIV; 6,000 children are infected each day; the epidemic is spreading especially quickly in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Cambodia, and southern China. Montagnier first looks at "Discovery," how research—and clinical medicine'sometimes proceeds systematically along and sometimes stumbles by chance onto new diseases and treatments. He then details his own work identifying the causes and mechanisms by which HIV effects its damage. Montagnier, ever the gentleman, recounts with a forgiving tone his much-publicized dust-up with Robert Gallo of the National Institutes of Health; the two made key discoveries about the nature and mechanism of HIV virtually simultaneously, leading to difficulties with patents and funding. As he has in the past, Montagnier emerges as the voice of perspective and reason: "I admit that I stand apart from Robert Gallo on many matters. Nevertheless, we shared one important thing . . . the desperate, despairing search for retroviruses linked to human cancers." Montagnier goes on to discuss the natural history of the disease and of the epidemic. He then looks at treatment, covering not just the scientific aspect but, most notably and sympathetically, devoting a chapter specifically to addressing those with the virus. After diagnosis, he understands, "Everyday life must be conceived and organized in another fashion, work and relationships with others reconsidered." Elucidating explanation from the forefront of HIV/AIDS research, always with a strong humanitarian underpinning. Read full book review >