The Cook of the Halcyon is the twenty-seventh Inspector Montalbano mystery from the master of Sicilian crime, Andrea Camilleri.
Moments later the all-white schooner, which looked like a hospital ship, began to pass ever so slowly before him, as if wanting to show itself off in all its beauty. The name on the prow said: Halcyon.
Two deaths – the suicide of a recently fired worker and the murder of an unscrupulous businessman – lead Inspector Montalbano to the Halcyon, a mysterious ship that visits Vigàta’s port each day. With very few crewmen, no passengers and a stern large enough to land a helicopter, it piques the Inspector’s interest straightaway.
And whilst all this is going on, a rare trip to Genoa to visit Livia ends with the Vigàta police department in disarray, and Inspector Montalbano’s position as the head of the commisariat in jeopardy. It will be up to Montalbano to fix the damage done.
Bestseller Camilleri's charming 27th mystery featuring Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after 2020's The Sicilian Method) begins when a factory worker in Vig ta, Sicily, angry over recent layoffs, hangs himself. That the factory's owner, Giovanni Trincanato, shows no remorse over the layoffs angers Montalbano. In the course of his investigation, the inspector connects the arrival of two women in town purporting to be highly paid escorts to Trincanato and a large schooner called the Halcyon that's come into port and is oddly bereft of passengers. When Trincanato is shot dead, Montalbano vows to find out who's behind the murder. Meanwhile, officials tell Montalbano to start taking mandatory vacation days in preparation to retire, and he realizes he's being pushed out of his job. Undaunted, Montalbano strives to figure out what links a series of seemingly unrelated yet suspicious events. Once again, Camilleri, who died in 2019, does a fine job balancing comedy and crime. Readers will hope this isn't their last visit to Vig ta.