Who could have murdered the lovely tailor without an enemy in the world?
Livia, the pampered longtime love of rumpled Sicilian Inspector Montalbano (The Overnight Kidnapper, 2019, etc.), insists that he trade his closetful of “corpse” suits for a new one more appropriate for the marriage renewal ceremony they’ve been invited to attend. All of Montalbano’s predictable objections are quelled when he meets the lovely blonde tailor Elena, who utterly charms him. Meanwhile, a boatload of immigrants, some injured, and an unidentified floating body occupy Montalbano and his laid-back squad room. Could the two cases be related? When Leena, one of the migrants, reports having been raped on the journey, Montalbano does his best to interrogate the perp, who doesn’t speak Italian but communicates through a translator. Protesting his innocence, he claims that he witnessed the crime and was threatened by the rapists. The deplorable problems of the migrants overwhelm Montalbano, and the unexpected news of Elena’s murder sends him over the edge. The seamstress was stabbed multiple times with a pair of scissors. Montalbano also finds a piece of fabric stretched taut and covered in blood, but he doesn’t find her cellphone. The first suspect he questions is her boyfriend, the publisher Trupia, who reveals that Elena recently rejected his proposal of marriage. Her confession that she’d been unhappily married before surprised Trupia and puts Montalbano on the winding path to the mystery’s solution.
Fans should especially enjoy the expanded role of the detective’s lover in his droll, clever 24th outing.