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The Scent of the Night Hardcover – January 5, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Montalbano 6 (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (January 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330442171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330442176
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An intricate plot and a large cast of memorable characters help lift the sixth Inspector Montalbano mystery from Camilleri (The Snack Thief, etc.). When a ragioniere (financier) disappears with millions of lire after defrauding many investors in a pyramid scheme, the middle-aged Sicilian detective uses both official and unofficial channels, as the mood takes him, to form, test and eventually prove his own theories. The fun is in the process, as Montalbano flouts the law on occasion, tweaks his superiors, badgers his associates and wheedles information from various sources. The endearing inspector is, by his own admission, both glutton and gourmand, and the meals prepared for him both at home and in restaurants are large, frequent and lavish. Sly humor, an eye for beauty, a disdain for clichés and fools plus a first-rate intelligence make him formidable both as a detective and as a companion. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

When Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series made its U.S. debut in 2002, we noted that Montalbano put a comic face on the noir world, sorting through multiple layers of Sicilian corruption while still finding time for a good lunch. Things have changed a bit now that we're six novels into the series. Montalbano still finds time for a good lunch, but his world is growing steadily darker and more melancholy. This time, half the retirees in Vigata have been swindled out of their savings by the handsome, smooth-talking general manager of King Midas Associates, who may, in turn, have run afoul of the Mafia. Meanwhile, Montalbano's relationship with his lover, Livia, is disintegrating, as is the landscape of his beloved Sicily. It's all getting too much for the beleaguered Montalbano, and though he solves the case of the missing swindler, he is somehow diminished by everything around him. Camilleri's hero may be more vulnerable now, but the series is richer than ever, less smooth but with more bite, less Sangiovese and more Barolo. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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

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See all 33 customer reviews
Andrea Camilleri is a wonderful author.
Deborah DeNail
This one had an interesting plot and surprise at the end but it's the lovable, humorous characters that make these books so much fun.
And three cheers for the excellent translation.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By nancydear on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Montalbano is one of my favorite policemen - very, very human in his many appetites, cantankerous and grouchy, but astute in his judgments and, of course, intuitive in crime-solving. This is his most thoughtful and provocative book yet. Descriptions of his meals make me want to board the next plane for Palermo! And three cheers for the excellent translation.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Anderson on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love mysteries. While I can be charmed by a cozy, the books that I want to own are the true mysteries that allow the reader to solve honestly presented clues, much preferably with a psychological insight that enhances the understanding of the crime. With the Montalbano series, it is the inspector's psyche that fascinates..he is cranky, moody, sometimes unfair but ruefully honest. His author swings from sentiment to cynacism (proving the cliche that to scratch a cynic is to find a romantic). What makes these books so savory is the quallity of writing. No extra words, no navel gazing, but with spare and sometimes painful accuracy, Camilleri captures a view of life that I think can only be modern Italian. You can see the (fictional) town, the light over the sea and the struggle for Montalbano to manage a romance (badly), a series of clues (very well) and the cultural assumptions that many of his insights rest upon. The whole series is worth collecting. Donna Leon has the detective we want to know (Inspector Brunetti) and I love to read. Camilleri has the detective who is entirely believable, even by a cynic. Less comfortable than Leon / Brunetti, but more realistic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on July 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Smell Of the Night" by Andrea Camilleri. Subtitled: "An Inspector Montalbano Mystery". Translated by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin Books, 2005.

A scam artist goes missing. Did the Mafia get rid of him? Because they were jealous of his success? Or because this relatively new scam was tapping funds the Mafia would have wanted? Or, perhaps, it was time for the scam artist to reap the rewards (however ill-gotten) of his scam and despite the fact that the scam would hurt many older and poorer people. At first, Inspector Montalbano does not want to become involved with a missing person case. The particular case at hand looked like the scam artist had bailed out with the money and gone back to mainland Italy. Missing persons. Money scams. No Sicilians involved except (of course) the victims of the scam. Page 97: "Mimi asked him:' Would you please tell me why you're getting so worked up over the Gargano Case?' "

Two women! A young, cute lady who was the secretary and the older ...middle aged...good looking woman who was the office manager where the money was collected from the unsuspecting victims. Of course, murder is involved, and you'll be surprised to find out that Inspector Montalbano is an accomplished swimmer and free-diver. One body is found in the sea at the base of a cliff, but wait until you see who really got rid of the perpetuator of the scam, the initiator of the get-rich-scheme in Sicily, and where his body is found. Should Salvo Montalbano arrange the body so that the Mafia is blamed? "But he was a cop" (Page 220). All in all, this is an intriguing mystery, and, as usual, the title is not explained until you are three-fourths of the way through the book.
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Format: Paperback
The Smell of the Night is the only one of the first six books to lack a decent mystery. Inspector Montalbano is as amusing as ever as he trashes an uninhabited villa, challenges a tease, deals with the remnants of incompetent laundering, desperately searches for new places to dine, tries to show he isn't really middle-aged, and solves a crime he isn't supposed to go near. There's the usual byplay at the station as Catarella mangles words and Fazio tries to inveigle Montalbano to sign stacks of paperwork for hours. In between, there are delicious meals and quiet interludes to think things over.

The book's plot involves a missing financier, Emanuele Gargano, who appears to have been running a Ponzi scheme (paying out large returns to early investors by using the money deposited by new investors). When the payment date occurs, the financier is nowhere to be found. One of his staff members, Giacomo Pellegrino, is also gone. But the dedicated middle-aged teller, Mariastella Cosentino, still mans the office . . . despite threats from angered depositors. Another assistant, the attractive Michela Manganaro, is licking her wounds after not having been paid for two months. But she can dish the dirt, and Montalbano gets some helpful clues.

On the serious side, headquarters has learned about the adoption Montalbano had arranged after another case, and Montalbano has to cover his tracks. As he does, he finds some good and not-so-good news. In addition, Mimi is getting close to marriage . . . but cold feet are also setting in. Will his nerve hold?

Will Montalbano's relationship with Livia survive some prevarications on the part of each?

If you are a devoted fan of the series, be sure to read the book. It contains some nice character development.
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Format: Paperback
It was all happening at the general management's office down town in Vigàta, `King Midas Associates'. Mariastella Cosentino was sitting behind the cashier's window as usual, three policeman Mimi Augello, Fazio and Galluzzo were performing a kind of ballet depending on which way the pistol was pointing at them, Inspector Montalbano kept his eye on the assailant who was making everybody nervous. The old man himself was in his eighties had advance Parkinson's, the pistol was shaking so badly in his hands someone was bound to end up shot, he was clearly destressed all this guy wanted was his money.

Emanuele Gargano belonged to the short-lived breed of businessman fast climber and ready for the scrap heap age fifty. This man was a Financial miracle worker and had given Vigàta the economic reawakening it needed, he had set up offices and with his charismatic charm enticed people to invest their life savings and pensions, for a couple of years now his firm had shown a high profit turn over, word spread and more invested, for the people of this town it was about making money as quickly as possible, then as fast as Emanuele Gargano had breezed into town he had suddenly disappeared and all the people's Vigàta savings with him.

Montalbano had promised the old man he would get his money back and that's not all he would search everywhere for this Emanuele Gargano and bring him to justice but as complications begin to increase so does Montalbano's personal and professional king size headache.
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