The Safety Net

Sicilian port of Castellammare del Golfo, amazing coastal village of Sicily island, province of Trapani, Italy

I adore the Inspector Salvo Montalbano mysteries. Reading one of the books by Italian author Andrea Camilleri is like sitting down to a simple, perfectly-prepared meal. And then savouring every mouthful.

I have been reading this series on and off since I stumbled upon them a few years ago. Just now I’ve read the latest title, The Safety Net. (BTW, it is not necessary to read the books in order.) This book has two unrelated plot lines. One is more of an oddity than an actual crime and the other involves two masked men who burst into a school classroom for unknown reasons, fire a couple of shots into the air and then race away.

Inspector Montalbano is an endearingly quirky character. He sets about solving crime his own way, and not always according to proper procedure. He is prone to philosophical musings about life and is always ready to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. The other recurring characters in the novels are all deftly-drawn, full of human foibles—and often pretty funny too.

The books are set in Sicily, definitely adding to the charm factor. The sights and sounds (and smells and tastes) of that Italian island leap out of the page.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, including this beautifully-written series. Andrea Camilleri unfortunately died last year and just two more Montalbano titles await publication. The Sicilian Method is coming out this month and the very last title, the 27th, The Cook of the Halcyon is slated for release early next year.

— Penny D.