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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Paper Moon (Inspector Montalbano mysteries)
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on 6 April 2018
I am worried about Montalbano, with him becoming seriously worried about the onset of old age, worried about the possible onset of Alzheimer's disease (especially when he cannot remember the word Alzheimer), thinking of starting to make notes when interviewing witnesses and suspects, being nice to Mimi (warning him about walking into a political trap and allowing him to take the credit for solving a major crime solved by Montalbano himself), thanking people (including Catarella and Fazio), not having any major bust-ups with Livia and, apparently, being off his food a bit (he only has a handful of blowouts and one of those is based on "foreign" food - Swedish pickled herrings); but, however, there are at least another thirteen books to go, so things cannot be too bad.
Amidst it all, Montalbano picks his way down the complex and convoluted trail and gets the job done.
Some reviewers point out that this is a bit "same old, same old" but it is a thoroughly enjoyable, light, easy to read same old, from a consummate storyteller and so, for me, it does.
This time we are left with two big questions: first, the usual one of whether or not he will ever marry Livia, and second, the new one, of what the Commissioner wants to see Montalbano about.
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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2017
"...a dreadful script from a B-movie of the erotic-crime genre," is how Mr Camilleri refers to one scene. It is unfair to extrapolate this quote to describe the whole novel but at times it strays awfully close.

This is the ninth in the series and some of the running gags are now running out of steam. There are scenes shortly after the discovery of the victim that would embarrass the audience at a Brian Rix farce. For the second novel in a row the plotting is becoming unbelievable; are the Sicilian police so short of cryptologists that the guileless Catarella is the best option?

Montalbano as 'lone wolf' is in danger of becoming a parody, as is the one-to-one, tell-all, denouement. The opening musings of the novel focus yet again on whether he is losing his memory, fitness, attractiveness or intelligence. The book had a gratuitously, sexually over-heated, feel that may trouble some readers.
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on 8 March 2015
In another excellent episode the wonderful Montalbano continues to worry about getting older while struggling with his propensity to attract dangerous women... Catarella almost has a computer-related breakdown... and Italian government bureaucracy is at its most bureaucratic.

This series considers to deliver even though this is number 8: the plot does admittedly rely on Montalbano being surprisingly obtuse (the ‘paper moon’ of the title) but that doesn’t detract at all from the sheer enjoyment of these books.

Camilleri’s real strength is in the characterfulness of these books: when crime fiction is awash with the same old tired characters/plots/moods, this series genuinely stands out: the books are sardonic, sometimes almost despairing, never shy away from tragedy and things that generate righteous anger, and yet at the same time they’re warm and full of life and laughter, a difficult balancing act that Camilleri manages with ease. It’s best to start at the beginning of the series and work your way forward – I’m rationing myself so that I don’t run out too fast.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 October 2009
This book centres on two fascinating women - the sister and the mistress of Angelo Pardo, done to death in horrible circumstances right at the beginning. The sister hates the mistress - but why? Montalbano meets both and has to be wary - Michela's eyes and Emilia's easy beauty are seductive. But his job is to discover the killer, and as usual local and national politics and the complex social fabric of Sicily are a strong element - and food too, at Enzo's wonderful trattoria. For all Montalbano's afficianados, this is really the mixture as before, which is how we like it, and it is a lovely read, full of atmosphere and interest, and with an involving plot which keeps you guessing. I don't think it's the best Montalbano mystery (though I'd find it difficult to say exactly why) but it's certainly up to scratch and will while away a few hours very enjoyably indeed.
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on 28 March 2013
I've now read several of the Montalbano mysteries and hugely enjoyed each of them. In Montalbano, Camilleri has created an original character who is very different to the stereotypes of detectives in much crime fiction. As usual, 'The Paper Moon' reminds us of his love of beautiful women and fine food, and his sharp mind and self doubts. This story comprises more drama and less mystery than some of the others in the series, but still includes scenes that will bring a smile to your face, as well as a surprise ending. For anyone who has read and enjoyed other books in the series, this will not disappoint.
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on 21 April 2014
I always avoid mentioning the plot. Nothing more infuriating than a review which spoils reading the book itself, so one is stuck with generalities. All the books in this series are very good. Occasionally the preoccupation with the characters themselves overwhelms the storyline but the characters are interesting in themselves. Wry humour appears as well as does an interest in Italian cusine. Endings not always predictable or even the one you secretly hoped for so realism as well.
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on 26 February 2015
I love all the Inspector Montalbano books, because they take me right away from the darkness and wild weather of a northern winter, and having seen most of the books dramatised on tv and dvd I can visualise the settings and characters. They are all enjoyable,and Montalbano is a likeable character, as are the others in the books. Just right for long dark evenings.
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on 19 January 2016
This writer has been my salvation After a major operation that had no chances of recovery your books have helped me regain life and I feel so much better I want to thank you for giving me a second chance love you books I have read them all started reading them again god bless you
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on 20 April 2014
Another intriguing case for Inspector Salvo Montalbana when a man is found dead in bizarre circumstances. The Inspectors natural cunning comes again to the fore, whilst trying to avoid political pitfalls he manages to solve the case to his own satisfaction. A totally unique series set in Sicily, with great sense of place and mouth watering descriptions of food. b
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on 24 January 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this one, I am a fan of the series and the tv series. Daft how different detectives have to be given their fads, but Montalbano is at least entertaining with his. The character having reasonable depth as well with his fears and whimsies. A good read in the wintertime to help you remember the sun, in Summer makes me reach for a glass of wine and a nice bit of cheese.
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