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The Paper Moon

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery by Andrea Camilleri

(Sicilian street scene by Tama66 via Pixabay)
Montalbano has to spend time with not one, but two, beautiful women while carrying out a murder investigation and at times finds himself distracted from his duties.

The victim is a pharmaceutical salesman who was shot in the face at point blank range at a moment when his trousers were down.

One of the beautiful women is the dead man’s sister. She calls on Montalbano to investigate her brother’s disappearance and Montalbano finds himself fascinated with her eyes.

He accompanies her to her brother’s apartment and after they fail to find any trace of the missing man he reluctantly gives in to her request to break down the locked door of a small room on his terrace. Inside, Montalbano finds the body of the victim.

When he goes to see the dead man’s mistress, a blue eyed blonde in her thirties, he is stunned by her beauty and finds it hard to concentrate on the case.

While he carries out his investigation he is constantly preoccupied by the fear that he is becoming forgetful as he gets older. He even writes a letter to himself to remind him of the facts in the case.

He is assisted as always by the faithful, but hapless Catarella, who works round the clock to access files on the dead man’s computer for which he doesn’t have the password, confusing Montalbano by constantly referring to it as ‘the last word’.

Meanwhile, local  politicians are dying because of a batch of dirty cocaine that is in circulation and every day Montalbano’s appointment with the Commissioner has to be cancelled for some reason by Dr Lattes (with an s on the end) who telephones Catarella with the news.

Things are as complicated and hilarious as ever at police headquarters but a determined Montalbano gets to the truth in the end.

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