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Montalbano's First Case & Other Stories by Andrea Camilleri

We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

Click on each name to read the review. If you would like to become part of the Viking Book Club, sign up here >>

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Susan Holderness

This book was a delight from start to finish. I had previously only encountered Montalbano through the television series and thought that nothing could improve on it, I was so wrong! Quite the opposite. The written word brought the TV series to life. The stories had so many twists and turns it was like being on a helter-skelter! The many culinary references to a foody like myself were the icing on the cake. I'm off to buy myself another inspector Montalbano novel. Thank you Viking!!!

Shelagh Payne

What a great surprise, the day we arrived back from our Viking Portugal's River of Gold Cruise the new book to review arrived. I had read many books but never a 'Montalbano' novel or seen any of the television programmes, so the author and his books are completely new to me. I was hooked from the first page, the stories are so well written combining the plot with wonderful descriptions of the countryside, the food he eats (vast quantities), his home ... everything. The stories take some twists are have been a little difficult to guess, who done it, but there is always some humour combined with the serious business of crime solving. The time just whizzed past as l was engrossed in each story. Great read, will be buying some more Montalbano books. Now, that just leaves the holiday washing to do!! Thanks Viking for introducing me to a new author.

Gwyneth Harris

This is a book you read with a smile on your lips. The first chapter is long as it sets the scene after this the chapters are complete stories. Some are very short other longer so ideal to pick up and put down as you wish. Although I had heard of the TV series I had not watched it despite friends falling in love with the police inspector, I now wish I had. I will seek out other Montalbano case stories.

Sue Canney

Having not read any of Camilleri’s short stories before and having only come across Montalbano on television I was looking forward to reading about the ‘real’ Montalbano. I loved the opening story ‘Montalbano’s first case’ introducing not only the character of Montalbano but Sicily itself. Camilleri’s description of the light and warmth of the island and Montalbano’s love of the sea gave a real insight to the character of the policeman not forgetting his love of food and books. The former invariably making him ill from overindulgence! In fact in most of his short stories Camilleri continues the theme of Montalbano’s love of food being such an important part of his life and very often helping him to solve a case whilst eating his way through a large meal. Camilleri’s description of Montalbano’s sidekicks that work for him are hilarious and continue throughout all the stories so that you know their characters inside out. The only character I thought rather silly was Catarella but this could have been hampered by the translation from Italian to English. Of his other stories I would pick out ‘Dress Rehearsal’ as a sweet story with a lovely ending and ‘The Artist’s Touch’ as being very clever and ‘Being There’ as showing the sympathetic side of Montalbano’s character. In short I really enjoyed the book and wouldn’t hesitate to read more of Camilleri’s work.

Jayne Dinsmore

When I first started to read this book I did not think I would get through the first story. But as I went on I found myself more and more engrossed in the way of life of the inspector, with how he lived and especially what he ate! Having short stories meant I could read a whole one each time without wondering what happened next. In the end I found it hard to put down and enjoyed reading it, with a view to looking out for more of his work.

Mike Walmsley

I was delighted to receive this book. As a fan of the TV series, it is interesting to read “prequels” which help appreciate the development of the detective, who, as ever, does things in his own inimitable way. My reading is enhanced by the images of Sicily carried over in my mind from the TV. Short stories are a wholly different genre, yet, as in the books, Camillieri delineates character and place economically but effectively. In some respects, this is a better holiday read, as it is easier to put down and return to later. As I am not on holiday, at the moment, I found this hard to put down. I can’t wait to receive my next “Book Club” edition if it is as fascinating as this one. What a good choice!

Judith Smith

I had heard of this Author but had never read any of his books, however I am a fan of Crime Novels. I really enjoyed the First Case and became familiar with the style of writing and the character of Montalbano. I enjoyed a number of the following short stories as they seemed to flow on from the much longer first one. The later short stories I did not enjoy very much, they seemed not so well written and lacked substance. I do think I will read another full length novel of his to see if I enjoy a fuller developed plot by him.