The Fourth Secret by Andrea Camilleri

A new novella – furnished to me by NetGalley – featuring the inimitable Inspector Montalbano. It is as enjoyable as the full- length novels. The only problem for me was the translation. The translator for the series is Stephen Sartarelli. (He even provides endnotes explaining expressions, customs, or events that would not be familiar to American readers.) What was jarring for me was Catarella’s speech. Catarella, Montalbano’s office assistant, speaks broken English; presumably, this is indicative of his Sicilian/Italian speech. It is part of his personality. In this translation, his English is just fine. Where is his personality??

Otherwise, this story is a tight, well-plotted story that introduces us to a new, likeable character, a carabinieri, who make Montalbano a great partner.

A sad note: According to a statement by the author, a final book devoted to Montalbano and titled Riccardino, has already been delivered to the publisher, but without a release date. It represents the Inspector’s concluding story and will be the last book to be published in the series, as stated by the same Camilleri. I guess this is understandable – Andrea Camilleri is 89 years old.

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