Voice Of The Violin by Andrea CamilleriVoice Of The Violin by Andrea Camilleri

Voice Of The Violin

byAndrea CamilleriTranslated byStephen Sartarelli

Paperback | June 29, 2004

Pricing and Purchase Info

$20.99 online 
$22.00 list price
Earn 105 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


“You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen. Aglow with local color, packed with flint-dry wit, as fresh and clean as Mediterranean seafood — altogether transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano.” A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Inspector Montalbano, praised as “a delightful creation” (USA Today), has been compared to the legendary detectives of Georges Simenon, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler. As the fourth mystery in the internationally bestselling series opens, Montalbano’s gruesome discovery of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim’s friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate... But it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key to the murder.
Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, bestsellers in Italy and Germany, has been adapted for Italian television and translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. He lives in Rome.Stephen Sartarelli lives in upstate New York.
Title:Voice Of The ViolinFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.8 × 5 × 0.52 inPublished:June 29, 2004Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142004456

ISBN - 13:9780142004456


Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONPolice Inspector Salvo Montalbano could write a book about the subtleties of Sicilian cuisine, but he is admittedly ignorant when it comes to music. Nevertheless, in Voice of the Violin, the fourth Montalbano mystery, the inspector must learn to listen to the world in unfamiliar ways in order to make sense of a baffling array of clues. A beautiful woman is found smothered and naked in the bed of her unfinished home, and a search of the house turns up no articles of clothing other than a pink bathrobe. Soon afterward, a prime suspect in the case is gunned down by a police squad in less than transparent circumstances. The dead woman’s husband, who claims to have loved her “like a daughter,” views her murder with a strange emotional detachment. Meanwhile, above all the confusion, as if on a level of existence more celestially beautiful than ours, a masterful but reclusive violinist plays free morning concerts for his paraplegic neighbor.Voice of the Violin is a classic whodunit, taking the reader on a labyrinthine path that leads from the discovery of a murder victim to the climactic unmasking of the killer. In the hands of a master storyteller like Andera Camilleri, however, the classic is never the conventional. As Montalbano implacably tracks down the murderer, he also continues to deal with a thorny romantic life and the frustrations of working within the criminal justice system, all the while indulging his insatiable appetite for Sicilian delicacies.ABOUT ANDREA CAMILLERIAndrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, bestsellers in Italy and Germany, has been adapted for Italian television and translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. He lives in Rome.DISCUSSION QUESTIONSAs in all of the Montalbano mysteries, Andrea Camilleri paints a detailed portrait of small-town Sicilian life, which he portrays as violent and corrupt, yet redeemed by a sensuous awareness of beauty. What are the sources of beauty inVoice of the Violin, and do they compensate for the harsher aspects of the life Camilleri describes? In chapter nine, Mimì tells Montalbano that he is not cut out to be a father, either biological or adoptive. Is his assessment of his boss accurate? Why would the inspector make or not make a good father? In Voice of the Violin, Montalbano continues his love affair with Livia, a liaison that both find intensely frustrating but without which neither is prepared to live. What, in your view, makes the two so dependent on each other and yet so mutually infuriating? The hapless Catarella, whose endless blunders generate much of the comedy in the Montalbano series, seems finally to have found his niche in computer technology. How is Camilleri using Catarella to express an opinion about the computer age? Adelina, Montalbano’s housekeeper, routinely leaves exquisitely prepared dishes in her employer’s refrigerator, but the two almost never see each other face to face. When Montalbano dines out, he very often eats alone. Why do you think Camilleri has Montalbano gratify his love for food without more human contact? The Montalbano novels take few specific political positions. However, the general political flavor of these is somewhat left of center. Nicolò Zito, arguably Montalbano’s best friend and the most astute television news commentator in the province, is a communist. When a labor dispute breaks out, Montalbano reflexively sides with the workers. How do you respond to the political undercurrents in Camilleri’s work? Although Montalbano is inwardly hurt when the boy he has hoped to adopt rejects him, he makes no attempt to press for the child’s custody. In your view, should he have put up more of a fight? Why or why not? Montalbano admires Anna Tropeano for her “astonishing, wholly feminine capacity for deep understanding, for penetrating one’s feelings, for being at once mother and lover, daughter and wife.” How does Montalbano’s concept of femininity influence his ability to understand and have relationships with women? Near the end of the novel, Montalbano looks back on the entire Licalzi case as “one mistake after another.” Why do you think this novel, and crime fiction in general, so often revolves around mistakes and accidents of one kind or another?

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Andrea Camilleri and the Montalbano Series“The idiosyncratic Montalbano is totally endearing.”—The New York Times “Camilleri is as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.”—The Washington Post Book World“Hailing from the land of Umberto Eco and La Cosa Nostra, Montalbano can discuss a pointy-headed book like Western Attitudes Toward Death as unflinchingly as he can pore over crime-scene snuff photos. He throws together an extemporaneous lunch of shrimp with lemon and oil as gracefully as he dodges advances from attractive women.”—Los Angeles Times“[Camilleri’s mysteries] offer quirky characters, crisp dialogue, bright storytelling—and Salvo Montalbano, one of the most engaging protagonists in detective fiction…Montalbano is a delightful creation, an honest man on Siciliy’s mean streets.”—USA Today“Camilleri is as crafty and charming a writer as his protagonist is an investigator.”—The Washington Post Book World“Like Mike Hammer or Sam Spade, Montalbano is the kind of guy who can’t stay out of trouble…Still, deftly and lovingly translated by Stephen Sartarelli, Camilleri makes it abundantly clear that under the gruff, sardonic exterior our inspector has a heart of gold, and that any outburst, fumbles, or threats are made only in the name of pursuing truth.”—The Nation“Camilleri can do a character’s whole backstory in half a paragraph.”—The New Yorker“Subtle, sardonic, and molto simpatico: Montalbano is the Latin re-creation of Philip Marlowe, working in a place that manages to be both more and less civilized than chandler’ Los Angeles.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)“The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humor, and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily."—Donna Leon