Review published on June 14, 2018.
The latest Montalbano thriller from Andrea Camilleri has been translated into English and The Pyramid of Mud is yet another classic. All the comedy, the characters, the food, and mystery are packed into this book, with the mafia hiding in the background.
A construction company’s chief accountant is found murdered in a tunnel, part of a construction that his company has been working on. At first, they have to find out why he is naked and where he was before he ended up dead in a construction tunnel. So begins a mystery that has been set up to make the police think one thing, when in reality it is something completely different.
With his ever-faithful team of Fazio and wayward deputy Mimi, Montalbano tackles the mystery head on and attempts to thwart those who would lead the investigation astray, who think they have confused the police investigation. But Montalbano can see through the smoke and mirrors that others keep throwing up trying to confuse them. He even plays along to dupe the main protagonists, thinking they will slowly make mistakes and reveal their hands.
Once again, Camilleri describes all Montalbano’s colleagues with wit and gusto, so we get all the chance encounters, as well as the contents of his fridge and oven. The Montalbano series is one of the best crafted pieces of crime writing available today. Nothing is lost in translation, not even the comedic characters that are dotted throughout the mystery.
The investigation may get off to a slow and slippery start, but it carries all the pleasures of reading Montalbano, and it will always keep you reading and smiling throughout the book.
Paul Diggett 5/5
The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri
Mantle 9781447298342 hbk Jan 2018