- Expected 15 Oct 2020
In The Sicilian Method, Andrea Camilleri's twenty-sixth novel in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series, Montalbano finds his answers to a murder in a theatrical play.
Mimi Augello is visiting his lover when the woman's husband unexpectedly returns to the apartment. Hurriedly, he climbs out the window and into the downstairs apartment, but from one danger to another. In the dark he sees a body lying on the bed.
Shortly afterwards another body is found and the victim is Carmelo Catalanotti, a director of bourgeois dramas with a harsh reputation for the acting method he developed for his actors: digging into their complexes to unleash their talent, a traumatic experience for all. Are the two deaths connected? Catalanotti scrupulously kept notes and comments on all the actors he worked with as well as strange notebooks full of figures, dates and names . . .
Inspector Montalbano finds all of Catalanotti's dossiers and plays, the notes on the characters and the notes on his final drama, Dangerous Turn. It is in the theatre where he feels the solution lies.
At the start of the late bestseller Camilieri's enjoyable 26th mystery featuring Sicily's Insp. Salvo Montalbano (after The Safety Net), Montalbano's colleague Mimi Augello calls on the inspector early one morning to report that he discovered a dead man in a darkened apartment while fleeing an interrupted tryst with a married lover. When Mimi returns to the apartment with Montalbano in tow, the body is gone. Meanwhile, someone fatally stabs prickly theater director Carmelo Catalanotti, who was also a loan shark. As Montalbano investigates both cases, he begins an affair with the new chief of forensics, Antonia Nicoletti, which consumes him to the point that his longtime, long-distance girlfriend, Livia, breaks up with him. In an intriguing twist, Montalbano finds clues to the crimes in Catalanotti's detailed dossiers on his borrowers and actors, who harbored hard feelings about casting Dangerous Corner, a labyrinthine English play of violence and betrayal. The blend of farce, sexual shenanigans, and strangely intense community theater intrigues as it amuses. Though Camilieri died in 2019, fans can hope that there's at least one more adventure to come for his aging, cynical police inspector.