The Snack Thief
Never has Inspector Montalbano's character - a unique blend of humor, cynicism, compassion, earthiness, and love of good food - been more compelling than in Andrea Camilleri's third Montalbano novel, The Snack Thief.
When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily's coast, only Inspector Montalbano suspects a link between the two incidents. His investigation leads to the beautiful Karima, an impoverished house cleaner and sometime prostitute, whose young son steals other school children's mid-morning snacks. But Karima disappears, and the young snack thief's life - as well as Montalbano's - is endangered when the inspector exposes a viper's nest of government corruption and international intrigue.
The Snack Thief is followed by the fourth Inspector Montalbano novel, The Voice of the Violin.
In the media
Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler's Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret
The novels of Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humour and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily. Remarkable