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

Chapter 1

Inspector Salvo Montalbano could immediately tell that it was not going to be his day the moment he opened the shutters of his bedroom window. It was still night, at least an hour before sunrise, but the darkness was already lifting, enough to reveal a sky covered by heavy rain clouds and, beyond the light strip of beach, a sea that looked like a Pekingese dog. Ever since a tiny dog of that breed, all decked out in ribbons, had bitten painfully into his calf after a furious fit of hacking that passed for barking, Montalbano saw the sea this way whenever it was whipped up by crisp, cold gusts into thousands of little waves capped by ridiculous plumes of froth. His mood darkened, especially considering that an unpleasant obligation awaited him that morning. He had to attend a funeral.



The previous evening, finding some fresh anchovies cooked by Adelina, his housekeeper, in the fridge, he'd dressed them in a great deal of lemon juice, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper, and wolfed them down. And he'd relished them, until it was all spoiled by a telephone call.

"H'lo, Chief? Izzatchoo onna line?"

"It's really me, Cat. You can go ahead and talk."

At the station they'd given Catarella the job of answering the phone, mistakenly thinking he could do less damage there than anywhere else. After getting mightily pissed off a few times, Montalbano had come to realize that the only way to talk to him within tolerable limits of nonsense was to use the same language as he.

"Beckin' pardon, Chief, for the 'sturbance."

Uh-oh. He was begging pardon for the disturbance. Montalbano pricked up his ears. Whenever Catarella's speech became ceremonious, it meant there was no small matter at hand.

"Get to the point, Cat."

"Tree days ago somebody aks for you, Chief, wanted a talk t' you in poisson, but you wasn't 'ere an' I forgotta reference it to you."

"Where were they calling from?"

"From Florida, Chief."

He was literally overcome with terror. In a flash he saw himself in a sweatsuit jogging alongside fearless, athletic American narcotics agents working with him on a complicated investigation into drug trafficking.

"Tell me something. What language did you speak with them?"

"What langwitch was I asposta speak? We spoke 'Talian, Chief."

"Did they tell you what they wanted?"

"Sure, they tol' me everyting about one ting. They said as how the vice commissioner Tamburino's wife was dead."

He breathed a sigh of relief, he couldn't help it. They'd called not from Florida, but from police headquarters in the town of Floridia near Siracusa. Caterina Tamburrano had been gravely ill for some time, and the news was not a complete surprise to him.

"Chief, izzat still you there?"

"Still me, Cat, I haven't changed."

"They also said the obsequious was gonna be on Tursday morning at nine o'clock."

"Thursday? You mean tomorrow morning?"

"Yeah, Chief."

He was too good a friend of Michele Tamburrano not to go to the funeral. That way he could make up for not having even phoned to express condolences. Floridia was about a three-and-a-half-hours' drive from Vigàta.

"Listen, Cat, my car's in the shop. I need a squad car at my place, in Marinella, at five o'clock sharp tomorrow morning. Tell Inspector Augello I'll be out of the office until early afternoon? Got that?"



He emerged from the shower, skin red as a lobster. To counteract the chill he felt at the sight of the sea, he'd made the water too hot. As he started shaving, he heard the squad car arrive. Indeed, who, within a ten-kilometer radius, hadn't heard it? It rocketed into the driveway at supersonic speed, braked with a scream, firing bursts of gravel in every direction, then followed this display with a roar of the racing engine, a harrowing shift of gears, a shrill screech of skidding tires, and another explosion of gravel. The driver had executed an evasive maneuver, turning the car completely around.

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
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

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

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  43The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller
  2.  171The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

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.