In his latest detective story (number 14) – The Age of Doubt – Andrea Camilleri has Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano investigating a dead body floating in a dinghy, rescued by a mysterious wealthy yacht owner off the coast of Sicily. The Montalbano series has been adapted for Italian television (with BBC DVD’s available for others) and has a loyal following – similar to those of Tony Shaloub’s “Monk” in the United States. This was my first experience with the Italian Columbo, and I was not disappointed.
Translated by Stephen Sartarelli into an easy conversational style – complete with humorous asides – The Age of Doubt was a slow-paced procedural mystery and a fast easy read. The murder was readily solved, with international intrigue at the core, but not before a few red herrings distracted the focus from an unexpected resolution. Aside from the comfortable suspense and methodical dissection of the clues, I enjoyed the descriptions of food (Montalbano likes to eat), and the witty observations.
I plan to look for more – in print and with subtitles.