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The Terracotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) [Paperback]

Andrea Camilleri
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

5 Aug 2005 Inspector Montalbano Mysteries (Book 2)

The Terracotta Dog opens with a mysterious tête-à-tête with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead Inspector Montalbano to a secret grotto in a mountain cave where two young lovers dead fifty years and still embracing are watched over by a life-size terracotta dog. Montalbano’s passion to solve this old crime takes him, heedless of personal danger, on a journey through the island’s past and into a family’s dark heart amid the horrors of World War II.

Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Salvo Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic, engaging take on Sicilian small-town life and his genius for deciphering the most enigmatic of crimes.

‘The novels of Andrea Camilleri breath out the sense of place, the sense of humour, and the sense of despair that fill the air of Sicily. To read him is to be taken to that glorious, tortured island’ Donna Leon

‘Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret’ Guardian


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (5 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330492918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330492911
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy's most famous contemporary writers. His Montalbano series has been adapted for Italian television and translated into nine languages. He lives in Rome. Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator. He is also the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Open Vault. He lives in France.

Product Description

Book Description

The Terracotta Dog opens with a mysterious tête-à-tête with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead Inspector Montalbano to a secret grotto in a mountain cave where two young lovers dead fifty years and still embracing are watched over by a life-size terracotta dog. Montalbano’s passion to solve this old crime takes him, heedless of personal danger, on a journey through the island’s past and into a family’s dark heart amid the horrors of World War II. Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Salvo Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic, engaging take on Sicilian small-town life and his genius for deciphering the most enigmatic of crimes. ‘The novels of Andrea Camilleri breath out the sense of place, the sense of humour, and the sense of despair that fill the air of Sicily. To read him is to be taken to that glorious, tortured island’ Donna Leon ‘Both farcical and endearing, Montalbano is a cross between Columbo and Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, with the added culinary idiosyncrasies of an Italian Maigret’ Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy’s most famous contemporary writers. The Montalbano mysteries have been best-sellers all over Europe. He lives in Rome.

Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator. He lives in France.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best kind of detective story 18 May 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best of the excellent Salvo Montalbano series by Camilleri. As usual, at the outset there are odd goings on but not necessarily crimes - a characterful old man dies in a road accident (or it seems to be an accident), there is a bizarre theft from a supermarket (it does not make sense, and Montalbano is very quick to spot that) and the terrifying Tana the Greek confides in the Inspector. But it the remarkable discovery of the secret, blocked cave, the two dead, naked lovers (are they lovers?) and the terracota dog that really set things buzzing. Throw in a defrocked priest who drinks milk out of a baby's bottle, a charming old headmaster and his wife, a hospital bedside scene in which Montalbano is anxiously guarded by his three women, Livia, Anna and Ingrid, and the usual frustrations he faces in his dealings with bureaucrats and less capable officers. As usual, there is considerable atmosphere, frequent enjoyable excursions into the world of Sicilian cooking and, this time, an intriguing link between past and present, all of which combine to make this an excellent book of its kind and great fun to read.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Triumph! 30 Jun 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The Terra-Cotta Dog is an extremely rewarding police procedural with deep cultural and historical roots that provide a delightful complexity for the reader. I would award this book six stars if I could.
If you have not yet read any of the Inspector Montalbano books, I suggest that you take the time to read The Shape of Water first. That book helps set up the context of the characters and makes The Terra-Cotta Dog far more interesting.
This book has Inspector Montalbano solving several mysteries before he is done. In a fascinating way, each mystery leads unexpectedly into the next one. And so on. It's like opening the Russian nesting dolls to find another treasure inside. I can rarely recall such fine plotting and seamless connections between disparate story elements in one police procedural.
As the book opens, Montalbano has been invited to meet secretly with a dangerous killer. Is it a trap? Why would the killer want to meet with a police inspector? The answer leads to a merry-go-round of public relations activities to cover up the real motive. Then, the charade collapses and Montalbano finds out about an unknown crime. More public relations follow . . . and from them Montalbano gets a clue to other hidden crimes. The rest of the novel reminded me of an archeologist's work in uncovering earlier civilizations that built on the same site.
The main contexts for these mysteries are the Sicilian Mafia, the Fascist era, the American invasion of Sicily during World War II, and the Christian and Moslem religions. How's that for an unusual combination?
Montalbano emerges as an even more interesting character in this book than in The Shape of Water, especially as his relationship with his girl friend Livia develops.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite my best intentions, I have managed to read the first few books in this wonderful Sicilian police series in the wrong order. No matter (though the publishers could have helped by noting the order). In THE TERRACOTTA DOG, chronologically the second book, the hilariously linguistically challenged Catarella has been foisted on Salvo Montalbano's team of detectives by his nepotistic connections - although the baby-like, overenthusiastic man himself seems to be entirely innocent of this fact. There is also much rivalry between Salvo and his second in command Mimi Augello, and others in the team are little more than occasional players. In later books, these relationships and characters develop, providing even more depth and joy to a delightful reading paradise.
THE TERRACOTTA DOG begins with an old Mafioso, Tano the Greek (who is no more Greek than Salvo), unable to cope with the impersonal, modern criminal style, wants to retire - yet keep his face. He therefore concocts an elaborate ruse with Salvo, the kind of policeman with whom he knows he can do business, so that it appears as if he has been captured in a heroic gun battle. Things do not go entirely to plan, of course: subsequently Salvo and his men discover a hidden cache of weapons in a cave at an abandoned road construction site - and receive plenty of, in Salvo's view, not entirely properly earned glory in the process.
While all this is going on, Salvo is puzzled by the apparently nonsensical theft of goods from a local supermarket. This event leads him eventually to discover that the cave has a concealed inner chamber. In this secret place are two bodies, the titular terracotta dog, and a bowl of old coins. It is this historical mystery that occupies Salvo for the rest of the book.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Triumph! 21 Jun 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The Terra-Cotta Dog is an extremely rewarding police procedural with deep cultural and historical roots that provide a delightful complexity for the reader. I would award this book six stars if I could.
If you have not yet read any of the Inspector Montalbano books, I suggest that you take the time to read The Shape of Water first. That book helps set up the context of the characters and makes The Terra-Cotta Dog far more interesting.
This book has Inspector Montalbano solving several mysteries before he is done. In a fascinating way, each mystery leads unexpectedly into the next one. And so on. It's like opening the Russian nesting dolls to find another treasure inside. I can rarely recall such fine plotting and seamless connections between disparate story elements in one police procedural.
As the book opens, Montalbano has been invited to meet secretly with a dangerous killer. Is it a trap? Why would the killer want to meet with a police inspector? The answer leads to a merry-go-round of public relations activities to cover up the real motive. Then, the charade collapses and Montalbano finds out about an unknown crime. More public relations follow . . . and from them Montalbano gets a clue to other hidden crimes. The rest of the novel reminded me of an archeologist's work in uncovering earlier civilizations that built on the same site.
The main contexts for these mysteries are the Sicilian Mafia, the Fascist era, the American invasion of Sicily during World War II, and the Christian and Moslem religions. How's that for an unusual combination?
Montalbano emerges as an even more interesting character in this book than in The Shape of Water, especially as his relationship with his girl friend Livia develops.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars TOLD WITH HUMOUR AND CHARM
This part of Sicily sees no shortage of bodies: the Mafia with a power struggle between old guard and new, many scores being settled. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Mr. D. L. Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of history, a slice of modern and a helping of character.
Oozes character. People, country, food all brilliant. A thoroughly enjoyable read, a detective who is not without fault and fears.
Published 2 months ago by P. Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars The perambulations of Inspector Montalbano
I did not enjoy `The Terracotta Dog'(1996) by Andrea Camilleri as much as `The Shape of Water'(1994), its predecessor in the Inspector Montalbano series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BobH
5.0 out of 5 stars The Terracotta Dog.
I have yet to be disappointed with Andea camilleri. Easy to read. More enjoyable if you have seen Inspector Montalbani on TV as you can identify with the charater
Published 3 months ago by Mimma Copeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good
It was in the middle of my expectations. Better than his first novel but I still miss the lingering beautiful shots of the local scenes in the TV series with the strangely... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dorothy & Joe Yeomans
5.0 out of 5 stars As seen on TV
I did like this book, the TV version did not do it justice. It has the usual Camilleri two plots running side by side, which makes it fun to read. You have to pay attention!
Published 4 months ago by Bleaklow
4.0 out of 5 stars A quality Montalbano
Rather different to the usual. I liked the emphasis on the invasion of Sicily and the research into the past. As usual, his asides on food are quite fascinating.
Published 4 months ago by Simon Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Terracotta Dog
I love all of the Inspector Montalbano books and would recommend any of the books in this series by Andrea Camilleri, which are excellently translated from the Italian into... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr S A Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read.
an interesting story, enough twists and turns to grip the imagination and want to keep reading.
I cannot wait to start the next one.
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Becoming an Motalbano Fan
Loved the TV series. Now read his books in bed - restful but with some intriguing plots. A good light read. I'm now into my third one - this time on my Kindle. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tony in PR
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