Inspector Montalbano of the police force in the small Sicilian town of Vigata has to investigate the death of Silvio Lupanetto, an engineer and local political hotshot of the reigning christian democratic party. Mr Lupanetto has died of a massive heart attack while having sex, but the place where his body is found is suspicious: why would a cautious man like him go to the local prostitute and drug area? The inspector's investigations give a nice insight into Italian wheeling and dealing: sex schandals, rich people with an attitude, the Mafia, left versus right, corruption and bribing. In short, everything we Europeans suspect Italy to be. Italy is a lot more, but in this novel there are only hints of good food and drinks, a great culture and a lovely countryside.
The book is written in a very fluent style and the story has a number of twists and turns which makes it an enjoyable read. I would say 3' stars, so let's make it 4 because this is the first book of a series and character of the inspector may still grow.