Summary and book reviews of The Voice of The Violin by Andrea Camilleri

The Voice of The Violin

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery

by Andrea Camilleri

The Voice of The Violin
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2003, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2004, 249 pages

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Book Summary

The Sicilian detective, Inspector Salvo Montalbano, is on the search for the killer of a young woman. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer (now disappeared) and her lover - an antiques dealer from Bologna. However, it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key.

The fourth in the internationally bestselling series featuring the irresistible Sicilian detective.

Inspector Salvo Montalbano, with his compelling mix of humor, cynicism, and compassion, has been compared to Georges Simenon's, Dashiel Hammett's, and Raymond Chandler's legendary detectives.

In this latest novel, Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate. But it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key to this murder.

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 ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Police Inspector Salvo Montalbano could write a book about the subtleties of Sicilian cuisine, but he is admittedly ignorant when it comes to music. Nevertheless, in Voice of the Violin, the fourth Montalbano mystery, the inspector must learn to listen to the world in unfamiliar ways in order to make sense of a baffling array of clues. A beautiful woman is found smothered and naked in the bed of her unfinished home, and a search of the house turns up no articles of clothing other than a pink bathrobe. Soon afterward, a prime suspect in the case is gunned down by a police squad in less than transparent circumstances. The dead woman's husband, who claims to have loved her "like a daughter," views her murder with a strange emotional ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

With his eye for beautiful women, his taste for fine literature and a tendency to stop in his tracks to indulge in a meal, the idiosyncratic Montalbano is totally endearing. But he's also a shrewd tactician and a very sensitive man, capable of listening with rapture to a private violin concerto played by a disfigured recluse -- no colorful throwaway scene, but a key piece of the plot. Stephen Sartarelli's light touch with the translation captures the sunny humor of Camilleri's idiomatic Sicilian dialect, even as it conveys the darker nuances of this complicated region.

Publishers Weekly

Through this deft translation, Camilleri's tale of lust, greed and hidden beauty should win new American readers.

Kirkus Reviews

A dearth of evidence and an abundance of fools confound Sicilian sleuth Salvo Montalbano.... Camilleri has ample opportunity to showcase Montalbano's droll misanthropy in his shaggiest adventure to date.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Just last year, when the first Inspector Montalbano mystery (The Shape of Water) made its belated appearance in the U.S., we asked that the translations keep coming--and quickly. Our wish has been granted....If you like the Italian crime novel, you'll love this series.

Library Journal

Smooth prose adeptly translated carries the reader into the often-comic world of Sicilian police procedure. Strongly recommended for fans of police procedurals and international mysteries.

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