Excursion to Tindari

by Andrea Camilleri

Paperback, 2005




Ney York, Penguin Books, 2005


A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building early one morning, and an elderly couple is reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari - two seemingly unrelated cases for Inspector Montalbano to solve amid the daily complications of life at Vigata police headquarters. But when Montalbano discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily's brutal "New Mafia", which leads him down a path more evil and more far-reaching than any he has been down before.

User reviews

LibraryThing member richardderus
The Book Report: Fifth of Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series set in fictional Vigata, Sicily, this outing sees Montalbano and his team dealing with a homicide, a double disappearance, and a bad case of lovin' you for the Inspector and his chief henchman as their respective relationships head into perilous waters. That is as nothing, though, compared to the murder of a too-wealthy twenty-year-old computer whiz who is in so far over his head that teasing out the whys and wherefores of his death leads Montalbano directly to the pinnacle of the Mafia food chain, and the resolution of the double disappearance...actually a double homicide...and the end of particularly vile, despicable, reprehensible, inexcusable business. For good? Probably not. For better, yes.

My Review: Camilleri doesn't disappoint in this outing for the hapless Mimi Augello, the surprisingly astute Catarella, and the Inspector himself. A web spins around Vigata (modeled after Porto Empedocle, Camilleri's home, which has actually added "Vigata" to its name to capitalize on the tourists following Montalbano around!) that seems at first to mean one thing, then another, then when you're SURE it means ANOTHER thing, *bam* there it is, the real source of all the trouble...and this time it was one I so totally never saw coming that I reeled backwards in shock, just like in the old cartoons. (Never mind that I was comfortably recumbent in the bed, don't be a spoilsport, the image works.)

Montalbano's highly imperfect character...too fond of his food yet never gets fat, treats Livia with what can charitably be called a highly trusting light maintenance, is so jealous of Augello's gal-pal in Pavia (like being from Massachusetts to a Texan) that he sets out with malice aforethought to get poor Mimi to forget her by introducing him to a witness in the double disappearance case, who just happens to be tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and a major foodie who has no family outside Vigata...which ploy works like a champ, may I add...grows deeper in this entry, and in some surprising ways. Upstanding yet spiteful, insubordinate yet deftly political, Montalbano makes each twist and every turn just that much more fun to take with Camilleri.

These are hugely popular books in the rest of the world, and the TV series is huge in Europe, and they are like all fueled by the same basic engine: Real drama comes from inside complex characters, their different facets all whirling chaotically to create the energy to drive the story. Well, yes.

Now will SOMEONE please translate Camilleri's non-Montalbano novel "Noah's Umbrella"?!? I *have* to know what it's about!
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LibraryThing member CaineBooks
I had enjoyed a number of Camilleri's books, but with this one, I stopped reading and won't read anymore. Why? Nottata persa e figlia fimmina (A night wasted, and it's a girl.) I have no need of an author who is so damn lazy that they reach for the nearest demeaning, sexist trope to describe frustration on the part of a character.… (more)
LibraryThing member Joycepa
5th in the Inspector Montalbano series.

A young punk with a taste for women and more money than can really be accounted for is murdered at his front door. At the same time, an elderly couple that was part of an excursion to the shrine at Tindari is missing, leaving a middle-aged son frantic with worry. Seemingly unrelated cases—except that the young man and the elderly couple lived in the same building which, of course, it too much for Montalbano to dismiss. In addition, Livia is throwing temper tantrums, and Augello is trying to transfer to Pavia in order to be with his new fiancée, throwing Montalbano into a panic at the thought of losing a member of his precious Vigáta team.

And so starts the 5th installment that includes all the well-known and eagerly awaited characters in Vigáta and outside it. Fans of the series will not be disappointed. Montalbano, thank God, hasn’t changed, and the rest of his world stars in support but with well-defined and lovingly drawn personalities of their own. The humor is still there, the plotting is still good, and the food is still mouth-watering.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member ffortsa
How delightfully funny this book is! Even more than the preceding ones, it made me laugh as well as puzzle. The slapstick was amost worthy of Clouseau, the puzzle intricate, the characters delicious. A zillion stars
LibraryThing member Condorena
Andrea Camilleri is always fun to read and in this volume there are some hilarious passages. But the Montalbano stories are not froth, they have a depth to them that lifts them far out of the ordinary. Thats why I read them from start to finish every so often.
LibraryThing member ChrisConway
I've never read Camilleri before but I was impressed by the crisp writing, moments of genuine humanism and affect, and a total lack of pretension. This is a literate mystery with appealing characters. A quick pleasurable read.
LibraryThing member dcnorm1
My first encounter with Andrea Camilliri, and while I'm not a fanatic about mysteries, this one got me -- for the often coarse and pungent dialogs, the sense of irony that infuses almost all the characters (very Italian?), and some insights into what makes Italy work despite all its problems.
LibraryThing member sjmccreary
This is the 5th book in the Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily. It follows the same formula that the earlier books have established - 2 seemingly unrelated mysteries arise at the same time and Montalbano is the only one who can find the key element that ties them together, thus solving both cases. This time, the two mysteries are the disappearance of an elderly, retired couple, and the murder of a young man who lived in the same building. The couple are quiet and keep to themselves, with few friends. The young man is a playboy who makes erotic home videos, and a writer. They did not know each other.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others in the series. As I mentioned above - the formula is too apparent. The elements in the other books that added so much were simply not present here. Salvo's love of food, his pleasure and enjoyment of his meals, which seemed almost erotic in earlier books, is barely mentioned in this one. His relationship with Livia consisted of only 3 or 4 phone calls in this book. And, all of a sudden, he is getting along with Mimi and is worried about the other man's plans to get married to a woman in another city because it might cause him to request a transfer out of Vigata. Without these diversions, what we are left with in this book is a detective who pulls conclusions out of the air, since the clues are not shared with the reader. I hate that - I want to be shown enough evidence to be able to solve the mystery on my own (not that I ever can, but it's nice to be able to look back and see all the clues that were right there in front of me). This has always been the case in this series, but was not so glaringly obvious before. This is a long series, and it's bound to happen that some books are not up to the standard of the othes, so I am not giving up on Salvo Montalbano yet. I still love the series, but this book was a disappointment.
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LibraryThing member bnewcomer
I usually enjoy Camilleri quite a bit, but this one felt a bit flat. Though there may have been as much intrigue and plot-twists as usual, it simply wasn't as compelling.
LibraryThing member lkernagh
Excursion to Tindari has all the bits I have enjoyed from the previous installments of the Inspector Montalbano series: Montalbano's love life is back to its usual complicated form, Ingrid puts in another appearance - which is always great for entertainment value - and the boys (Augello, Catarella, Fazio) ... well ... they continue to drive Montalbano to distraction in their own unique ways. Even better, the mafioso is back making things interesting. A little bit of everything in this one. With all of this going on, who has time to solve a murder or find missing people? ;-)

Lovely to see the series is back on track and looking forward to the next installment.
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LibraryThing member tippycanoegal
I am on a Camilleri bender. Reading them like candy one after the other. The perfect summertime mystery reads. Fantastic series set in Sicily with an inspector that is quirky and difficult. I cannot believe that these mysteries have not yet been serialized on television. They are so witty, vivid and crisp. Highly recommend to anyone who has not come across this author.… (more)
LibraryThing member nmele
Camilleri deals with the Mafia in this one, compensating for the violence and brutality with even more outrageous humor and food fetishism. Very enjoyable.
LibraryThing member FAR2MANYBOOKS
First, my compliments to Stephen Sartarelli on his translation and notes compiled for the reader to understand every nuance of Camilleri's written word.
Some say that the pace of the book is slow, but, I enjoyed this differing flavor on a detective novel. Camilleri is able to immerse us in the world of Inspector Montalbano: his love and enjoyment of mediterranean food coupled with a detailed description of the sea and the warm and rocky Sicilian geography. With a mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path. This is a"delicious" discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers. (less)… (more)
LibraryThing member FAR2MANYBOOKS
First, my compliments to Stephen Sartarelli on his translation and notes compiled for the reader to understand every nuance of Camilleri's written word.
Some say that the pace of the book is slow, but, I enjoyed this differing flavor on a detective novel. Camilleri is able to immerse us in the world of Inspector Montalbano: his love and enjoyment of mediterranean food coupled with a detailed description of the sea and the warm and rocky Sicilian geography. With a mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path. This is a"delicious" discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers. (less)… (more)
LibraryThing member laytonwoman3rd
Montalbano number 5. In this excursion, our Inspector parses out the connection between two seemingly unrelated mysteries---the death of a young man never at a loss for female companionship, and the disappearance of a reclusive elderly couple who lived in the same apartment building. The food is as enticing as ever, although Salvo has some trouble enjoying it as he begins to understand the utterly evil enterprise his investigation brings to light. There is a brilliant slap-stick skit embedded in this novel, as Montalbano attempts to break into a locked building by slamming into the door with his shoulder, and then shooting at the padlock, American cop-fashion. I couldn't help thinking of Dick Van Dyke, as Rob Petrie, trying to rescue his wife from a locked hotel bathroom.
December 2012
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LibraryThing member thornton37814
Montalbano's suspicions are aroused when a man is murdered outside an apartment building and an older couple who don't get out much residing in the building later turn up dead. Readers learn of rivalry between a "new mafia" and the established mob leaders. The women involved with Montalbano and Mimi figure into the story in minor ways. Food is always discussed although I found fewer occasions to salivate than in some installments. Although it is a solid installment, it was not a favorite. Grover Gardner did an excellent job narrating, as usual.… (more)
LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
In this fifth outing of the Inspector Montalbano series, the Inspector is investigating the murder of a young man at the doorway of his apartment building and the disappearance of an elderly couple, who happen to live in the same apartment building as the first victim. The elderly couple appear to have gone missing while on a tourist excursion to the ancient site of Tindari and while this incident seems unrelated to the other murder, Montalbano has concerns that they could be connected. He and his crew painstakingly put the pieces together and uncover an evil conspiracy that involves not only prominent citizens but also the mafia.

As with all Montalbano stories the reader must hold on tight and go with the twists and turns that the author takes you on. The use of sardonic humor along with the Inspectors internal musings and dishes of Sicilian food that are guaranteed to make the mouth water make these books a joy to read. The author captures the essence of Sicily in these farcical, witty and intriguing books.
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LibraryThing member Auntie-Nanuuq
Another interesting read in the Inspector Montalbano series:

But something is missing from the ending of "The Snack Thief": Livia & Salvo are still not married, nor is there mention of the plans to adopt the little boy!

Montalbano is called to the scene of a shooting, a young man w/ a fully decked out apartment has been shot in the face... In the same building a retired couple got on a bus, took the tour to Tindari and never returned. The bodies of the couple are later found in the charred remains of a fire, being murdered execution style.

The head of a mafia family wants his grandson arrested, but when they get there, guided by one of his cousins, they find him w/ his throat slit & his bodyguard gone.

A world renown surgeon's wife is having an affair & has been videotaped & features in a novel written by the young murdered man...

Well written & all coming together nicely....

Not as much food talk this time, but what there was sounded wonderful!
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LibraryThing member quondame
Inspector Montalbano appetite is dangerously flagging - meals are skipped or delayed. Or lost, understandably. Camilleri's Sicily does sound like the embodiment of interesting times, and the scenery does sound like an amazing contrast of modern skuz next to fragrant wilds.
LibraryThing member barlow304
This is the fourth Montalbano mystery I've read and the character is definitely growing on me, as is the writing. Perhaps the excellent translator, Stephen Sartarelli, has grown more confident, but the translation of this volume is looser, more colloquial, and faster paced than earlier novels.

As usual, the novel blends a sense of place (Vigata in Sicily) with the temperamental detective, Inspector Montalbano. This time, he undertakes to understand why an elder couple who never associated with anyone went missing when they unexpectedly took a bus tour to Tindari. Was there a connection to the murder of a young man, an obvious hit job?

Along the way, Andrea Camilleri's trademark wit shows through. Between the hilarious switchboard operator Catarella and the love troubles of Montalbano's deputy Mimi, Montalbano manages his way through the bureaucracy of the Italian state and the clutches of the Mafia.

Entertaining and well written. Take a trip to Sicily with Inspector Montalbano!
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LibraryThing member jetangen4571
Sicily, situational-humor, verbal-humor, translated, family-dynamics, friendship, law-enforcement*****

What a complex mystery and their bureaucracy is as crazy as ours! The first murder looks like standard mafia stuff, then comes the disappearance of two pensioners. Sandwiched in between is bureaucratic nonsense and developments into the habits if the first victim that are stranger than most. As always, the team works together to get the job done and provide more than a few laughs. Great work by translator Stephen Sartarelli and by narrator Grover Gardner!… (more)
LibraryThing member mysterymax
An elderly couple disappears on a bus tour, a man is shot unlocking his door, and the son of a big crime boss is killed. It all comes together and is a case that makes Montalbano and his crew sick at heart.
LibraryThing member sianpr
This outing for Inspector Montalbano sees 2 seemingly unrelated murder cases and a convoluted plot involving the Mafia. Social commentary on state of affairs in Sicily/ Italy but can't help thinking that Donna Leon does a better job with Inspector Brunetti. Although engaging, female characters need to be less stereotyped and have a more proactive role.… (more)



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