The Overnight Kidnapper

Penguin. (Inspector Montalbano, Bk. 23). Feb. 2019. 272p. tr. from Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. ISBN 9780143131137. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781524704933. M
Insp. Salvo Montalbano arrives at work late one morning, after his attempt to break up a fight ends in all three men, including Montalbano, being arrested by the carabinieri. Once at work, he learns of a kidnapping in which a woman was abducted, drugged, and released unharmed the next morning. Then the same thing happens a second time, with another woman. Both victims are in their 30s and work at banks. When a third kidnapping turns violent, bankers everywhere start to worry. However, Montalbano and his team have another case on their hands. This one is arson, and the owner of the shop, Marcello Di Carlo, has disappeared. Montalbano is shrewd enough to find a connection between Di Carlo's vanishing and the unusual abductions. Camilleri's sequel to The Pyramid of Mud, with its descriptions of Sicilian politics, customs, and food, has enough humor involving the office staff at the police department to be a Sicilian cousin of Bill Crider's "Sheriff Dan Rhodes" mysteries.
VERDICT Armchair travelers who enjoy Cay Rademacher's police procedurals set in Provence, France, or Jeffrey Siger's Greece-set crime novels may want to venture to Sicily.

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