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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the rest of the Montalbano series. A high powered man is found dead in Sicily, and to all outward appearances it seems that he simply died of a heart attack, in a rather indelicate position. However, Inspector Salvo Montalbano suspects that all is not as it seems, and determines to discover the truth.

For the first book in a series, this book does a great job of combining an interesting mystery with introducing a colourful cast of characters.  Montalbano himself is terrific – he’s grumpy, rude and mischievous, but he also has a strong moral code and a heart of gold.  He is ably assisted by his team of colleagues – his friend Mimi, with whom Montalbano has a love/hate relationship; the methodical Fazio, and the hapless Catarella.  This book also shows something of the Inspector’s relationship with his superior officers (it’s not very good!)

Sicily itself is also brought to life, with it’s heat and atmosphere, and all the aromas of the lovely meals of which Montalbano is so fond.

The book is amusing, believable and very pacey. Definitely recommended.

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