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The Potter's Field (Inspector Montalbano ) Paperback – September 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Montalbano
  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Original edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780143120131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143120131
  • ASIN: 0143120131
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“…one of the best installments in the entire Inspector Montalbano series.”
(-The New York Journal of Books)

About the Author

Andrea Camilleri is an internationally bestselling author. He lives in Rome.
Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and poet. He lives in France.

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

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Characters" 13
  • "Funny" 10
  • "Writing" 9
  • "Suspense" 5
  • "Action" 1
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspector Montalbano devotes most of his time in this book to long lunches, slow driving, unofficial inquiries, evasive maneuvers, avoidance of duty and irresponsible acts. He's nearing retirement age and tells himself he's getting ready to fade out. But in truth, he's much sharper than any of his young officers.

A bag containing a dismembered body is found in a field. The owner sells the clay in his field to potters, so you could call it a potter's field. There's a biblical allusion here, but I'll leave it to you to figure it out. Better yet, read the book!

The delicious complexity of the plot creeps up on you, so I won't say anything about it. I was only calmly interested for a while but finally got inextricably caught up.

In this book we watch Inspector Montalbano shed crocodile tears and real tears. We see him at odds with his own detectives. We watch his appetite go from poor to ravenous and back, more than once. He's subjected to the allure of a spectacularly gorgeous young woman and the mature charms of an old lover. He examines his conscience and is startled by what he finds.

In other words, this book, like every Montalbano mystery, is a feast of surging Sicilian emotions interspersed with mouthwatering Sicilian dishes that we eat vicariously with the inspector. Comic moments abound. And Montalbano's excitable assistant Catarella has plenty of opportunities to garble messages and barge explosively through doors.

If you're only just discovering Andrea Camilleri, I envy you. You have all his books ahead of you. I'd suggest reading every one. If you're a Montalbano fan, I think you'll be quite delighted with this latest arrival. I was.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another witty and entertaining ramble with Inspector Salvo Montalbano through the criminal peccadilloes and charms of Sicily. "The Potter's Field" provides a clever mystery plot, terrific characters and a continuing insightful look at Sicilian culture and society, which only nominally resembles its Italian counterparts (according to author Andrea Camilleri, at least).

In "The Potter's Field", Inspector Montalbano faces a murder case that begins with the discovery of a chopped up body in a bag; a mini-rebellion and malaise at his police station; and the daily personal struggles with the human aging process. The strongest part of this fine crime novel is, as always with author Camilleri, the interplay of the wonderfully colorful characters. There are times when you can imagine Fellini orchestrating this rich mix. The procedural element of the story is relatively transparent, but Montalbano's deductions and moves toward solving the central crime of the book are not, and therefore the book's conclusion(s)--to the reader's pleasure--is invisible until the last few pages.

This book has it all--an intelligent and engrossing plot, great characters and entertaining cultural notes (Montalbano is a gourmand whose many encounters with Sicilian cuisine are recorded by the author in minute detail). Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Wertheimer on October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. The detective piece of it is terrific, as excellent as any of the Montalbano books. The emotional piece of it is unusually satisfying. This was actually a bit unusual for a Montalbano story, in that they can be a bit bleak, at least in overall effect. This one, on the other hand, was glorious. I have just this minute finished it, and the world looks a lot brighter than it did.

A fabulous detective story and novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ATB on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I hate to say this, but after reading "To each his own" by Leonardo Sciascia, I found this read mediocre. The books are very similar, as if one author copied the other. Of the two, I found "To each his own" the superior. The plot of "The potter's field" was exciting up to a point. Once I figured out who committed the murder, which was super easy and which happened halfway though, I began to get bored. Camillerri gives away too much information earlier on instead of saving it for the last few pages. If you are looking for edge of your seat suspense, look elsewhere. The dialogue was funny though. I appreciated Camilleri's sense of humor, but that's not the reason I chose to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dogmom on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have avidly read each of Camilleri's books as they come into translation. As a Sicilophile and lover of soft mysteries I have loved each book.
The author makes me feel I am in Sicily again and I love Salvo with all his many human qualities. I think there is a great job of fleshing out the main players and the feel, smell and taste of the area...a great, great read...the translation is as exquisite as the story....very tasty stuff
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Wung VINE VOICE on July 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am working my through the Inspector Montalbano mysteries. It has been a tremendous treat so far, and I have fallen into the rhythm of the writing and ther way Camilleri structures the stories. While I am still eagerly reading the mysteries, there was a sense that Camilleri was having a hard time sustaining the novels.

Until this one. This story really grabbed my attention and while staying true to the Montalbano franchise structure, the story line and the writing is much more focused and is much sharper than the last few books. This was just such a superb read that I had a moment of melancholy when I'd finally reached the last page.

The biblical reference and the was Camilleri mixed in the drama involving the recurring characters is quite a lot of fun and it definitely reinvigorated the story and the series.
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