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by Andrea Camilleri
Penguin, April 2008
272 pages
ISBN: 0143113003

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

THE PAPER MOON is the ninth in the series to feature the wry and somewhat cynical Inspector Montalbano. Hoping to have a tranquil day at the office, he finds his solitude disturbed when an enticing young woman disrupts his peace by persuading him to help her search for Angelo, her missing brother. Unfortunately they find his bullet-ridden body in his flat in a compromising position. At the same time Montalbano finds himself investigating a series of drug overdoses with some rather high-profile victims. There appears not only to be a connection between the death of Angelo and the murders but also to the relationship that Angelo was having with a professor's wife. If that is not enough Montalbano soon finds himself attracted to the professor's wife who is a suspect.

Andrea Camilleri's irascible Inspector Montalbano series is one of those delightful series that one savours as soon as one gets a hand on them. PAPER MOON is no exception and it joins the earlier books in the series in becoming pearls. There is a lot of humour in these novels and it is the humour along with the eccentricity of Montalbano's colleagues that tends to alleviate some of the more noirish elements of the novel. Camilleri's complex characters are no stick insects. They always fully fleshed out complete with one of the seven deadly sins in their hearts and this is no exception in THE PAPER MOON. There is also always an element of Mafia mischief in this series but it is never allowed to dominate any of the stories. We know that it is there but unless it is relevant to the story we are only tantalised with it. THE PAPER MOON is a first-class read and one of the best aspects of this latest book in the series is seeing how Montalbano deals with three formidable women.

Camilleri's wonderful and witty writing style is always a joy to read and what is always an added bonus is seeing Sicily and Sicilian society through the eyes of someone who is under no illusion about what is going on around him.

Reviewed by Ayo Onatade, May 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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