One of the Inspector Montalbano detective stories set on Sicily and the first I have read. The Inspector is a well developed
character and is surrounded by adiffuse set of individuals together providing for some pointed comments on the life of the
area and the ever-present Mafia whose influence is sometimes made overt and, at other times, hidden but obvious. The
events in the book fit together eventually but they seem to be there more to provide the reason for a commentary on the
mores of Sicily often expressed with a somewhat bitter humour.