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The Patience of the Spider (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) Paperback – April 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Montalbano Mysteries
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112037
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Camilleri's agreeable eighth contemporary police procedural featuring the crotchety but insightful Inspector Montalbano finds the Italian detective at home in Marinella enjoying the ministrations of his wife, Livia, after he was shot by a child trafficker in 2006's Rounding the Mark. But his recuperation is hampered by the demands of a new case: the abduction of Susanna Mistretta, an attractive university student and daughter of a geologist. Unable to trust his colleagues to handle the case properly, Montalbano focuses on subtle anomalies—such as the direction the missing girl's motorbike was pointed—that suggest the kidnapping is more than the simple extortion attempt it appears to be. The witty writing and acerbic protagonist should appeal to fans of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On the mend from the gunshot wound he sustained at the conclusion of Rounding the Mark (2006), police inspector Salvo Montalbano is called back to work when the kidnapping of a young woman rocks the insular Sicilian community of Vigata. As Montalbano becomes intrigued with the case, he gradually feels himself start to reengage with the rest of humanity, though the almost metaphysical lethargy that has been weighing on his soul will not dislodge easily. Camilleri seems more interested here in Montalbano's inner turmoil--including the inspector's reactions to his strained relationship with his lover, Livia--than he is with the kidnapping story. That's just as well, really, because the main plot this time is not nearly as meaty as in past episodes. But the focus of this consistently entertaining series has always been more on character than mystery, and although this installment is, at best, a transitional episode, it still delivers what fans have come to expect: a perfectly blended mix of comedy and melancholy, and a hero whose joie de vivre is perpetually under siege from an absurd world. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Andrea Camilleri is the author of the spectacularly successful Montalbano mystery series and many other novels set in nineteenth-century Sicily. His Montalbano novels have been made into an Italian TV series.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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There was also a bit too much of Livia in this one.
Cathy G. Cole
Normally I find my books at thrift shops or used book stores (I am retired in this economy!)
J. Wilber
Great plots, wonderful characters and consistently gripping plot lines.
Vicki Moss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What Montalbano should have been doing was resting, keeping the love nest warm with Livia tucked up against him, his official reason for withdrawing from society had something to do with the gun shot wound he received from his pervious job, but there was no doubt about it, this morning he could hear the telephone ringing. There were two options; the first, if he ignored the ringing he could carry on with his natural blissful way of life with Livia! Or secondly if he picked up, work, it only meant trouble, Montalbano reached for the phone.

One hour later he was standing at the scene of the crime, a kidnapping they said. A very pretty girl Susanna Mistretta, who lived with her father and mother in a country villa three miles outside of Vigata town. Susanna had gone to study at friends during the day but had not returned home as usual that evening. Her father of course was worried, time became late and he went searching for his daughter, but it was Susanna's boyfriend Francesco Lipari who finally spotted her abandoned moped about two hundred yards from her parents house. Montalbano was quite certain something had happened to the girl, as he made a closer inspection of the scene, it was the front wheel of the moped that clinched it, why was it facing towards Vigata? Backwards! It looked like it cared it was going the wrong way! As far as Montalbano was concerned this was his case, he'd just seen foul play.

This would be the Eighth book in the series and Camilleri has made a few slight changes with this one, which is charming and crafty.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
First Line: He jolted awake, sweaty and short of breath.

Still recuperating from the events which occurred in Rounding the Mark, Salvo Montalbano is called back to work when a young woman is kidnapped. The investigation has the added bonus of giving him something to think about other than his own mortality. Unable to let his colleagues handle the case themselves, Montalbano finds himself focusing on very subtle clues, such as the direction in which the kidnapped woman's motorbike is pointed, and it doesn't take him long to believe that this case has more to do with extortion than it does kidnapping.

Although I love this series and enjoyed the book, it is a weaker entry in the series. The plot machinations leading up to the identity of the kidnapper were rather transparent, and there was a bit too much of Montalbano's solo ponderings and not enough of his excellent (and hilarious) team. There was also a bit too much of Livia in this one. I don't appreciate Livia as much as others might; it seems she flies into town just to argue with Montalbano, and I've never been a fan of prima donnas and fighting.

Be that as it may, this is still one of my favorite mystery series, and I can't wait to read Montalbano's next adventure!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Old Dog on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This brings Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano detective series into a Sicily of the new millennium. As with his distinguished literary predecessor Leonardo Sciascia, Camilleri's main interest lies in studying the social, psychological, and political protocols of this tight little island, as if they yet remain a curiosity--a terra incognita at once sullen yet grand. Fairly interesting in depicting a fairly cunning intrigue; but, as has been noted, fairly obvious. Especially interesting in displaying a contemporary Sicily more generally prosperous than a Verga or a Sciascia could have imagined--autostradas, motorcycles galore, grand homes, beachfront apartments, airplane trips back and forth to the north: a good life with decent vacation time and good restaurants. The focus here is on greed and moral malaise. (An acquaintance of mine, returning from a visit to the old sod, remarked that they don't know how good they have it.) Alas, so far I have been unable to secure videos of Italian television's productions of the Montalbano novels. As usual, Stephen Sartarelli's translation preserves the author's smooth, swift, elegant narrative style (a major feature of Italian narrative style for over six centuries), and offers useful notes. Oh yes, in this sequel there is not enough explicit eating--that is, no X-rated gourmandizing. Is Camilleri going puritan on us? Has political correctness conquered this last stronghold of sensual decency?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Traveling Lady on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I always enjoy the Inspector Montalbano mysteries and will read them and enjoy them regardless of the reviews they get. I have to admit that I did not think this was one of Camillier's better efforts. The plot was not as interesting as most and there was not enough about the food!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Inspector Montalbano was wounded in Rounding the Mark, and The Patience of the Spider begins with Montalbano being on leave to recuperate. Livia has even returned to his side to take care of his, banishing the ministrations of his housekeeper and marvelous cook, Adelina Cirrincio. Montalbano is concerned that the doctors will find out that he has a heart condition, but that doesn't happen. Except for occasional love-making (which Livia isn't anxious for), Montalbano is leading a circumscribed life . . . even eating healthy, low-calorie foods. Bah!

Naturally, it is a relief when Montalbano is called temporarily back to duty as a kidnapping overwhelms the local force. But the case is not to be his; a colleague comes from a place where kidnappings are common events.

The kidnapped woman, Susanna Mistretta, is a pretty young university student . . . and her family doesn't have any money. Everyone fears the worst, that this is a sexual crime rather than extortion. And initially, there's no news from the kidnappers.

That set of circumstances seems strange to Montalbano. As he investigates, more little things bother him. Why is her motorbike facing in the wrong direction? Where is her helmet? As time passes, the little things seem to suggest of shadow of something else. What could it be?

But it's annoying to work on the case, because Livia alternately berates him for not doing enough . . . and for not telling her about every little development.

Will the young woman be saved? Will she get back in time to say good-bye to her dying mother? Your heart will be wrung as you consider those elements.

The story lacks the usual Montalbano zest for several reasons.
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