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

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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

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: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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 1000 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Inspector Montalbano series is well noted for the strong sense of place and ironic outlook on the foibles of mankind. This eighth installment in the series picks up with the protagonist recovering from a wound received in Rounding the Mark. He's immediately faced with a mystifying kidnapping of a beautiful young girl, provincial politics running wild with his superior, and journalists that make Howard Stern seem like a paragon of probity.

As with the rest of the series, not everything is as it appears. The sardonic Montalbano eventually figures out the twists and turns and justice is served.

Along the way, we learn much about Sicilian food, Italian politics, and how immigration has become the third rail of Italian politics. Readers of Henning Mankell will recognize this theme as well, and the author handles it as well as Mankell did in his excellent debut, Faceless Killers.

If you plan to read this book, you'll be well served to start the series in order. Be sure to read the translator's footnotes at the end of the books as you read through it as they will add substantially to your insights into all things Sicilian. Some of the best humor is in the translator's notes.

Highly recommended.
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