Penguin Pr. (Inspector Montalbano, Bk. 28). Sept. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780143136798. pap. $17. M
Andrea Camilleri (1925–2019) was a prolific and often profound writer of mysteries. His stunning “Inspector Montalbano” series now spans 28 titles; many of his works were adapted for television and film. In this final series installment (after The Cook of the Halcyon), a man is shot in front of his friends as they gather for an early-morning walk. Inspector Montalbano begins the novel feeling the weight of his age and his work as a police detective. He begins to unravel the case built on half-truth witness statements, a shady henchman, and a department that wants results. But this isn’t your typical murder mystery. As in real life, this novel becomes metafiction. Montalbano is well known, and his fame and success as a detective has spurred television shows and novels. While he works the case, he fights with his commander at the police station, the public who demand answers, and even an author who is writing about the inspector’s latest caper.
VERDICT Camilleri’s series finale busts out of the traditional mystery genre to give fans an inspiring, thoughtful, and humorous farewell to a beloved character.
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