Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where to Begin?

     Since my earliest memory is an afternoon with my mother and sisters at the beach-Mondello-outside of Palermo, I begin in Sicily.
     Let me introduce Inspector Salvo Montalbano, created by Andrea Camilleri. Beware-even at his most cranky and angst-ridden, you will not be able to get enough. Thankfully, there are eleven books and more coming.
     Few mysteries have made me laugh so hard but there is plenty of noir, too. Salvo has troubles with EVERYONE, including himself, and wrestles constantly with a job that is grimer and grizzlier than he wants.
     The setting is a fictional town, Vigata, possibly modeled after Agrigento on the south coast of Sicily and includes a moderately dysfunctional police force and a long-distance lover and some amazing, and frequently charming, bad guys.  These books also include descriptions of meals and swims in the Mediterranean that will make you wish you were there.
     If you are looking for a way out of a rut and some well-written distraction, please check this series out.  Start with The Shape of Water-you won't regret it.

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