Has the implacable Inspector Montalbano been thrown off his game by a femme fatale—or worse, a whole clutch of them?
When rain forces traffic to a near-standstill, Sicilian Inspector Montalbano, on his drive to work, rescues a young woman whose car is about to be flooded. Identifying herself as Vanna, she professes concern over her wealthy aunt's yacht of the same name. When Montalbano humors her by checking, he finds a naked corpse in the yacht's dinghy, his face bashed in to hinder identification. As for the mysterious Vanna, seems she isn’t who she claimed to be. The case proves to be so head-spinning that Montalbano writes himself a letter laying out facts and suppositions and excoriating himself for his slow progress. Relief comes in the person of Lt. Laura Belladonna, a local officer much more astute than his usual sidekicks Fazio and Mimì. But working in close contact with Laura brings up deep feelings Montalbano hadn't bargained for.
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.