Excerpt from The Voice of The Violin by Andrea Camilleri, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Voice of The Violin

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery

By Andrea Camilleri

The Voice of The Violin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Nov 2003,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2004,
    249 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


When he stepped out of the house ready to leave, he saw Gallo, the station's official driver, rejoicing.

"Look at that, Chief! Look at them tracks! What a maneuver! A perfect one-eighty!"

"Congratulations," Montalbano said gloomily.

"Should I put on the siren?" Gallo asked as they were about to set out.

"Put it in your ass," said a surly Montalbano, closing his eyes. He didn't feel like talking.



Gallo, who suffered from the Indianapolis Complex, stepped on the accelerator as soon as he saw his superior's eyes shut, reaching a speed he thought better suited to his driving ability. They'd been on the road barely fifteen minutes when the crash occurred. At the scream of the brakes, Montalbano opened his eyes but saw nothing, head lurching violently forward before being jerked back by the safety belt. Next came a deafening clang of metal against metal, then silence again, a fairy tale silence, with birds singing and dogs barking.

"You hurt?" the inspector asked Gallo, seeing him rub his chest.

"No. You?"

"Nothing. What happened?"

"A chicken cut in front of me."

"I've never seen a chicken cut in front of a car before. Let's look at the damage."

They got out. There wasn't a soul around. The long skid marks were etched into the asphalt. Right at the spot where they began, one could see a small, dark stain. Gallo went up to this, then turned triumphantly around.

"What did I tell you?" he said to the inspector. "It was a chicken!"

A clear case of suicide. The car they had slammed into, smashing up its entire rear end, must have been legally parked at the side of the road, though now it was sticking out slightly. It was a bottle-green Renault Twingo, positioned so as to block a dirt driveway leading to a two-story house with shuttered windows and doors some thirty meters away. The squad car, for its part, had a shattered headlight and a crumpled right fender.

"So now what do we do?" Gallo asked dejectedly.

"We're gonna go. Will the car run, in your opinion?"

"I'll give it a try."

Backing up with a great clatter of metal, the squad car dislodged itself from the other vehicle. Nobody came to the windows of the house this time either. They must have been fast asleep, dead to the world. The Twingo had to belong to someone in there, since there were no other homes in the immediate area. As Gallo was trying with his bare hands to bend out the fender, which was scraping against the tire, Montalbano wrote down the phone number of Vigàta police headquarters on a piece of paper and slipped this under the Twingo's windshield wiper.



When it's not your day, it's not your day. After they'd been back on the road for half an hour or so, Gallo started rubbing his chest again, and from time to time he twisted his face in a grimace of pain.

"I'll drive," said the inspector. Gallo didn't protest.

When they were outside the town of Fela, Montalbano, instead of continuing along the highway, turned onto the road that led to the center of town. Gallo paid no attention, eyes closed and head resting against the window.

"Where are we?" he asked, as soon as he felt the car come to a halt.

"I'm taking you to Fela Hospital. Get out."

"But it's nothing, Inspector!"

"Get out. I want them to have a look at you."

"Well, just leave me here and keep going. You can pick me up on the way back."

"Cut the shit. Let's go."

Between auscultations, three blood pressure exams, X rays, and everything else in the book, it took them over three hours to have a look at Gallo. In the end they ruled that Gallo hadn't broken anything; the pain he felt was from having bumped hard into the steering wheel, and the weakness was a natural reaction to the fright he'd had.

Originally published in Italian as La Voce del Violino by Sellerio editore. Copyright 1997 Sellerio editore via Siracusa 50 Palermo. Translation copyright Stephen Sartarelli 2003. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.