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Wings Of The Sphinx (2006)

by Andrea Camilleri(Favorite Author)
3.86 of 5 Votes: 1
0330507656 (ISBN13: 9780330507653)
Commissario Montalbano
review 1: While I didn't like this Montalbano mystery as much as the last, August Heat, it is still a solid entry to the series. There is quite a lot going on here, between details regarding Montalbano's now-rocky relationship with Livia, a side story about a faked-kidnapping, and the (as usual) excellent passages on Enzo's amazing trattoria (and other food notes) that the "main" story, that of the murder of a tattooed Russian girl, seems to get lost in the shuffle. That this book is a relatively brisk 231 pages condenses matters even further, so that in the end you're left feeling like things were all a bit rushed. Perhaps some of this will be covered in the next Montalbano, but nevertheless this entry whets the appetite for more!
review 2: The eleventh novel in the Ins
... morepector Montalbano series, Wings of the Sphinx is another excellent entry , although definitely more serious in tone than many of Camilleri's earlier books. Events of the previous book August Heat are still fresh in his mind when Salvo is called to the scene of a murder, where a very young girl, barely only twenty, was found naked in a dump with a shotgun wound that tore her face off. The officers have only an odd tattoo on her shoulder, one that turns out to be a sphinx moth. By focusing on the tattoo, Montalbano makes the link between this victim and other girls who were all taken in by an organization called Benevolence, whose main work is keeping young immigrant women away from the streets and finding them gainful employment. While working on the murder, he also has to contend with the case of a missing businessman who, it seems, has been kidnapped. But Montalbano's investigation is stymied when it turns out that Benevolence is backed by some very powerful people with friends in very high places, and they're breathing down the commissioner's neck.But the investigation is not all that's on Montalbano's mind. He not only has to deal with a system that's going to pot where the police stations had no gasoline, the courts had no paper, the hospitals had no thermometers, and meanwhile the government was thinking about building a bridge over the Strait of Messina. But there was always plenty of gasoline for the useless escorts of ministers, vice ministers, undersecretaries, committee chairmen, senators, chamber deputies, regional deputies, cabinet chiefs, and underassistant briefcase carriers.......but he also has to act as mediator between his two warring selves, Montalbano One and Montalbano Two, who "were always in disagreement." And his relationship with Livia has taken a personal toll on Salvo, as things have become pretty rocky between them. While considering the dead girl's tattoo, he comes to an insightful revelation: "The love between him and Livia had been exactly like the flight of a sphinx moth. At first, and for many years, it had been straight, sure, focused, and determined, capable of spanning an entire ocean. Then, at a certain point, that splendid, straight line of flight had broken apart, zigzagging this way and that. It became...uncertain and confused."In this novel, it seems, Montalbano is at his most morose self -- lamenting things that are wrong with the world at large, not to mention in his personal sphere of life.But there's still enough lighthearted humor in Montalbano, his close circle of colleagues and in how he sets out to beat a system that sometimes makes no sense to keep Camilleri's faithful readers happy in this novel; not even Salvo's often gloomy outlook can override the antics of Catarella, the inspector's enjoyment of Enzo's Trattoria or the lovely meals left by Adelina in the fridge at Marinella. And on top of everything, The Wings of the Sphinx offers a very good set of crimes that need solving. less
Reviews (see all)
Relaxing, easy read. I have enjoyed some of the other Montelbano mysteries more.
Always inventive, this author. Funny, sad, engaging.
Another fantastic story. They never disappoint.
Camilleri's books are extremely addictive.
Good addition to the series.
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