Again, the group ventured to Italy for mystery and intrigue and again, some of our group didn’t enjoy the trip.

Terra-Cotta Dog was written by Andrea Camilleri and translated from the Italian.  The group was equally divided into those who didn’t enjoy the book and those who did.  Some people couldn’t get into the story and found it amazing that the dog in the title didn’t even make an appearance until half-way through. 

Others, however, thought the book was an interesting read and found the quirks and peculiarities of Montalbano, the main character, entertaining and the food descriptions drool-worthy.  Half the time we didn’t know what the dishes were in the Italian, but then the author went on to describe the dish and Montalbano’s enjoyment of the food and I know ended up spending most of my time hungry and wishing there were a good Sicilian restaurant in town

Montalbano was picked as the favorite character, but when the priest with the baby bottle was mentioned, it got us all talking about the strange and wonderful characters the author created.  When looking back on this story, it won’t necessarily be the mystery that is remembered, but the food and the guy with the baby bottle.

While entertaining to watch him at work as a police officer, this is really the story of Montalbano trying to solve a 50-year-old mystery in his off hours.  The internal office gyrations and the mafia case definitely become secondary to the freelance case.

Pam offered some more mysteries set in Italy– Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio and Grace Brophy’s work, particularly A Deadly Paradise and Last Enemy.

Also, we’ve finalized next year’s list of books.  It’s posted on the right.