Andrea Camilleri, one of Italy’s most popular authors and creator of the Inspector Montalbano, did not begin to write mystery novels until he reached the age of 70.
The first book was The Shape of Water, featuring the Sicilian detective.
Set in the fictional town of Vigata, Camilleri was originally going to call his central detective The Commissioner, but decided to pay tribute to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the Spanish author of novels about the investigator Pepe Carvalho.
We especially enjoyed “Montalbano’s First Case,” a collection of inspired short stories.
Here’s an excerpt from “Better The Darkness.”
He got out of car and noticed that many windows were illuminated by dim lights. He realized why: the insomnia of old age, the king that condemns you to spend every night awake, in bed or in an armchair, reviewing your life minute by minute, enduring every episode again, passing from one to the next like beads on a rosary. And so you end up wishing for death because it’s an absolute void, a nothingness, free of the damnation and persecution of memory.