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August Heat: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery Paperback – February 24, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Camilleri’s alternately brooding and life-loving Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano may be the most agonizingly human lead character in the mystery genre. The inspector’s all-too-recognizable shortcomings, from lethargy to lust, are on view in this latest episode in which a summer rental—procured by Salvo for friends of his girlfriend, Livia—becomes a kind of Italian Amityville horror. If an insect infestation isn’t enough to turn the holiday into a fiasco, the body found in a concealed basement apartment does the trick nicely, leaving Montalbano on the outs with Livia and forced to contend with a six-year-old murder. As the inspector endures the August heat (often by sitting in his office in his underwear), he faces an even more formidable obstacle: his overwhelming attraction to the victim’s stunning twin sister. Montalbano’s various weaknesses lead directly to the troubling finale, leaving him forced to, yes, strip off his clothes one more time and dive into the sea, hoping to swim away his regrets. Combine the movies Body Heat and The Seven-Year Itch, blending the noir of the former with the farce of the latter, and you have something like this beguiling tragicomedy. --Bill Ott

Review

''The joys of August Heat arise less from the central plot than from its margins: Montalbano's never-flagging fondness for food, his ruminations on aging, and his commentaries on Italian society.'' --Washington Post

''Camilleri's tenth mystery to feature [Inspector] Montalbano (after 2008's Paper Moon) cleverly balances a compelling story line with engaging characters.'' --Publishers Weekly

''Despite its noirish undertones, the perfect beach read for those lucky enough to have found suitable accommodations.'' --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Original edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143114050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143114055
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This Camilleri mystery may not be the place to start for those just arriving on the scene because the investigation is a darker one, involving a murdered adolescent, and because Montalbano himself makes some decisions that serial readers will consider surprising but newer readers may not appreciate as shockingly anomalous. Camilleri does not disappoint. We readers continue our education in Sicilian manners and mannerisms, this time with an emphasis on building codes and almost unendurable summer heat. Montalbano enjoys a couple of good meals, defies bureaucracy, drinks whisky, repeatedly swims into the ever more polluted sea, and, in spite of his best intentions, continues to flounder in his romantic life with long-time love Livia. The murder case itself is unraveled precipitously close to the conclusion of the book but there is further excitement at the end here since the ramifications of Inspector Montalbano's behavior, only in part attributable to his aging, must certainly be dealt with in the next account of this wholly pleasing series.
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Format: Paperback
But not Inspector Montalbano. It is August in Sicily and Salvo Montalbano is not only wilting under the hot summer son but he's also beginning to get the `middle-aged' blues. To make matters worse, his girl friend Livia has decided to visit. That wouldn't be so bad except she has invited another family to accompany them and has instructed Montalbano to do the impossible: rent a summer beach house on the Sicilian coast without any prior notice. He manages, grudgingly, to find a beach house but when the guests arrive their young son disappears within steps of the beach house. What Montalbano uncovers during his search for the child and his subsequent investigation into that discovery forms the plot for Andrea Camilleri's "August Heat".

August Heat is the tenth in a series of Inspector Montalbano stories. Set in the fictional town of Vigata, Sicily, the series for me has always been marked by the larger-than life personality of Inspector Montalbano. Montalbano is a very appealing character. He is a Sicilian with a temper. He doesn't suffer fools gladly even when those fools happen to be authority figures. He has an enormous appetite for good food and each book contains reference to his never ending search for a tasty, well-prepared dish. His relationship with his long-time, long-distance lover, Livia, also plays a recurring role in the series and in "August Heat", the tension between them over the lost boy at the beach house seems to put their relationship in jeopardy.

As a fan of the series I have to admit being a bit disappointed by August Heat. Montalbano's ruminations on his own mortality marked a different tone from the earlier volumes and seemed to be a bit of a drag not only on Montalbano but also on this reader.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the 10th in Camilleri's Inspector Malbano series, and the series just keeps getting better. It is set in Sicily, as are the others, and very well translated to English from the original Italian. There are references to specifically Italian holidays, colloquial phrases and historical events, but the author provides explanations at the end of the book by page number. You can refer to this section if there is something you don't understand.

The inspector is up to his usual tricks when it comes to solving a murder. The characters are well developed, especially the police in Montalbano's department that show up in each of the books. Some definite plot twists in this one. I'd suggest you read the books in order, as there are some references to previous cases and ongoing relationships in his books. A terrific series, great vacation reads.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
August Heat is simply wonderful. And I'm not just saying that because I read it during a 100 degree heatwave here in the southwestern U.S.

This is the kind of Montalbano book that you can get lost in. The characters are wonderful, the plot is long and meandering. It's more than a little sexy (and why not? Hot weather brings it out in all of us). Fazio is at his clever best. Livia is far away and of little consequence. Plus, there is a heroic cat named Ruggero and we learn Salvo likes cats. Yay!

This is also one of the best Montalbano movies as well. The story of the beautiful twin sisters, one of whom brilliantly plays Montalbano like a piano.

The story builds and builds to the final pages and the last paragraphs, while Salvo swims and weeps, are unforgettable.

Bravo Camilleri.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspector Salvo Montalbano has been forced to stay in Vigata and work during August after a colleague extends his vacation. As luck would have it, Livia, his long distant love decides to join him, she doesn't expect Montalbano to be busy after all who would have the energy to commit a crime in this August heat. But to be on the safe side she's bringing her friends and their young son to keep her company. Montalbano secures a beach rental for the family while Livia spends evenings with him.

Montalbano is called to the beach house quite a few times over the next nine days as there seems to be a few problems, swarms of cockroaches, spiders and mice seem to have also taken up residents the family are not amused. Some would believe that this house was cursed especially when the little boy suddenly disappears. Montalbano rushes over to solve the case; the boy had fallen into a narrow shaft below the house, the boy is found and pulled to safety. Montalbano never satisfied decides to check what lays underneath the house, not only does he discover a small room below but within a chest a girls dead body. Montalbano mission now was to find out how this girl came to be at her final resting place and who was responsible to take a life so young. Sinister and corrupt forces build a bigger foundation.

Andrea Camilleri has kept this Interesting, he writes it, I read between the lines and pause for thought! Camilleri has chosen to write quiet clearly about the day to day levels of corruption in Sicily; even the little things in every day life and how Montalbano has to deal with those different levels of corruption to get his results.
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