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The Potter's Field (Commissario Montalbano #13)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,570 ratings  ·  176 reviews
A "New York Times "bestseller, Winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Witty and entertaining, the Montalbano novels by Andrea Camilleri-a master of the Italian detective story-have become favorites of mystery fans everywhere. In this latest installment, an unidentified corpse is found near Vigata,
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ebook, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,440)
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Seth
The theme of the Potter’s Field is betrayal. The reference to the potter’s field stems from the Gospels according to Matthew. When Judas returns to the priests the 30 pieces of silver he was paid for betraying Christ, they use them to purchase a potter’s field, a burial ground for the indigent. When the Mafia deliberately slices the body of a traitor into 30 pieces, it is sending a warning message to others. In this context, Andrea Camilleri understands to mention Umberto Eco’s theory of semioti ...more
Carol
Inspector Montalbano is getting older, closing in on 60. He is tired and achy but he still enjoys good food and wine. And he can still solve a complicated murder case because he is always thinking. He does multiplication tables when he is waiting. He uses Freud to interpret his dreams. He gives his boss statements to defend his actions using only the titles of Dostoevsky novels, knowing the commissioner will never pick up on it. He was too ignorant to have read them.

A body is found in a muddy c
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Michelle L
Another neat trick by Camilleri. It seems so simple and obvious in the first part of the book, I wondered where the twisty subtlety had gone. Well, I found out it hadn't.

The subtly twisting heart of this book comes from the idea of betrayal, big and small, in private, public and police life, against others or oneself. Some so small as not to matter, others that can ruin a career or end a life. Or save any of these.

Why on earth does a writer of Camilleri's gifts write mysteries - though I am s
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Liane
Camilleri is an acquired taste. This one starts out in amusing fashion when Inspector Montalbano has to be driven to a suspected crime scene by Catarella who normally doesn't leave the police station. The sergeant can hardly move without breaking/falling over/banging into something. The pair pull up alongside the police Jeep and don't see anyone. Because it is pouring rain, the Inspector [he really doesn't want to get wet] tells Catarella to honk the horn but it doesn't work, so the two sit ther ...more
Nancy Oakes
Definitely not my favorite in the series, but like 3.75 stars rounded up.

The Potter's Field is the latest in Camilleri's adventures featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano, coming in at book number thirteen in the series. According to Wikipedia, there are three more already written, waiting to be translated. Good. I'm not quite ready for the series to end just yet.

Montalbano has a lot on his plate in this installment. First, he is called to a crime scene in the middle of the pouring rain, where a
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Gisela Hafezparast
Unlike the previous Camilleri, this one took me quite a while to get interested in. The first bit felt very formulaic and whilst one of the reasons I love the series is the description of the Sicilian ways of the police there and Montelbano himself, I felt it was very much the same as in the previous books. But it improved once Montelbano "got to work" so to say and on the whole it was a good, if not a great read.
Russell
This was an unusual one for me. I enjoy murder mysteries, and enjoy trying to predict whodoneit. In this case, part of the early challenge was to predict who got done. It took a little work to get into the book because it was originally written in Italian. So not only did it need to be translated, but the transcriber had to cope with finding English equivalents for Italian slang and what would be the language of New York bumblers. *Think "youse guys."* But, after the initial adjustment was made, ...more
Adam Moss
Beautifully playful, ingeniously twisty and with an appetite for life and solving mysteries you'd expect from an olive-oil fuelled Mediterranean man of law. This is a fantastically light read, despite it subject matter. And it's funny too. Rarely can comedy and crime have become such fitting bedfellows. Highly recommended.
Susan Edwards
A new discovery, this is my second book by this author. Great little mystery for summer reading. Author uses interesting quote sources bringing in a deeper dimension. A new favorite curmudgeon of a detective!
Chris
My favorite detective series of all time. Just the right mix of humor and cunning. Montalbano seems ready for retirement but Camilleri has him masterfully pulling the strings like a puppetmaster on a very complex case that appears to be a slam dunk. In this mystery we have: a dismembered body; a beautiful woman(Latina) who leaves men agape reports her husband, a sailor, missing; the Mafia looks to be involved-drug smuggling?; one of Montalbano's leading detectives is really moody. As usual there ...more
Nanosynergy
For the smoothly interwoven literary references alone, I give this thirteenth book in the Inspector Montalbano series 4 stars. With the theme of the Potter's field in the Gospel of Matthew (30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus), Camilleri cleverly weaves in literary references into the investigation that include Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Machiavelli and others (some of which I'm sure I missed). Reminiscent of Vladimir Nabokov. A gem in the genre. This is a police procedural that rises above the ge ...more
Susan
My Favorite Andrea Camilleri to Date... Having not read the Author in a while... I realized how much I missed his Books.. After you read his first book... You can skip around because they are Stand Alone Novels...The Potters Field is very Current,And Historic & Poetic Lets not forget Murder Italian Style... Andrea Camilleri can Stir The Pot Incorporating Religion with a Twist and it all fits together... Solved... With a dash of Philosophy..
Alison C
The Potter's Field is the 13th novel in Andrea Camilleri's series about Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano, and as the series continues, our favourite detective ages; he may be near the end of his run here, or at least he's contemplating retirement. Montalbano is called to the very wet and muddy scene of a hideous find, that of a plastic bag containing a body that's been cut into 30 pieces. The murder was committed some months previously, and the man's face had been obliterated, his fingers and ...more
Ian
I’m a big fan of the TV series (which is the reason I gave this a go) but this isn’t normally the sort of crime novel I’d choose for my reading matter. I prefer something grittier, darker or more psychological. And I prefer the humour in crime novels to be gallows rather than slapstick. However I did find this an easy and entertaining read (though I think it helped being familiar with the characters from TV).
This being Sicily we do get the Mafia coming into the story but this is still more of a
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Kenneth Fredette
I liked this Montalbano. Andrea Camilleri really portrayed a tired Inspector Montalbano. He's really tried to make him human with guilt feelings towards Livia. I know there's a lot of other written books of Inspector Montalbano out there in Italian that haven't been translated yet. So I don't know whats going to happen. Be ready though.
Elina
I simultaneously both loved and hated this book. Loved, because of an interesting and exciting plot, marvellous Sicilian scenery and the characters I have grown to love. Hated, because of these same characters were stalling, keeping things from each other, annoying themselves and me - to the point I was yelling at the book whole time through the 3-4 hours it took me to read it (which itself is a testament to the plot - able to hold one's interest completely and make forget the reality). But this ...more
Florita
Andrea Camilleri never fails to captivate me with his lyrical observations of reality - whether it's about aging, or the perennial backdrop of the sea. This particular installment seems especially poignant. There is an air of vulnerability surrounding Montalbano, despite his tremendous ability to negotiate through the myriad distracting pathways that the criminals lead the members of the Vigata Police down. He is more introspective and is more attentive to the foibles of the human condition whic ...more
Procyon Lotor
Vecchie abitudini e future aspettative Camilleri recupera. I personaggi tornano a comportarsi come eravamo abituati a vederli o secondo la tendenza. Finalmente qualche gustosa sciarratina con gli altri organi dell'ordine pubblico e la sempre presente e pressante e pesante Livia. Purtroppo Montalbano invecchia e Camilleri qualche autoreferenzialit se la concede cos come qualche diretto riferimento alla realt (il prologo AMMA non necessario). Anche qui c' una donna di Circesche capacit seduttive e ...more
Alyce E
So, during my lunch break a few days ago, I went to the Harold Washington Library downtown (can I use "downtown" and "the Loop" interchangeably? Not sure yet...) over my lunch break. I had a few books to return, and I wanted to get the One Book, One Chicago book, The Warmth of Other Suns. Basically, this is like a citywide book club, so Chicago is going to host a ton of events related to this book; I figured I'd better read it.

While down in the Popular Library area, another book caught my eye. W
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Mirrordance
Una giornata da pendolare in treno e due ore di straziante attesa in una sala di aspetto di ospedale sono state sufficinti a terminare anche quyesto Camilleri. Non mi è piaciuta questa inchiesta di Montalbano, Salvo perde colpi ed invecchia. Quando tu lettore sembri vedere l'evidenza cento pagine prima del tuo "eroe" qualcosa non va. Va bene andare afiancati passo passo passo ma inervosirsi perchè non vede l'ovvio infastidisce e allo stesso tempo la storia nella storia, che è l'altra faccia del ...more
Ladiibbug
#13 Inspector Montalbano series - Police Procedural

From Good Reads book description:

A New York Times bestseller, Winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Set in Italy, these are complex, funny, engrossing reads. The highly principled Inspector Montalbano investigates murders amid rampant corruption, the Mafia, a wildly inefficient police bureaucracy, while maintaining his own internal standards.

Every book has several sub-pl
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Niki Costantini
Splendido. Uno dei migliori di Camilleri. Salvo è tornato in gran forma dopo i dubbi e le crisi esistenziali con i quali si era trovato a fare i conti negli ultimi romanzi.
Qui ha finalmente fatto pace con se stesso e con l'età che avanza; non solo ha accettato le proprie debolezze ma anche quelle altrui. Questo lo ha reso più forte, più acuto e ancora capace di scrutare nell'animo umano per venire a capo di questo nuovo enigma.
La storia è accattivante, l'intreccio perfetto, tutto il meccanismo
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Cathy Cole
It has become the norm to have a Montalbano mystery begin with one of the inspector's dreams. The Potter's Field is no exception, and Montalbano's dream is a lulu. The older he gets, the more wily he becomes, and it's a joy to watch him piece together all the clues he's gathered.

The emphasis in any Montalbano mystery by Andrea Camilleri isn't exactly on the mystery. It's more of a triumvirate: the characters and their relationships to each other, a wonderful sense of humor, and a puzzle finally
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Sergio Frosini
Il campo del vasaio. Pagato con i trenta denari di Giuda. Luogo-simbolo del tradimento.
E il tradimento è il leitmotif di questa storia del commissario Montalbano. Dove forse il lato poliziesco è un po' meno elaborato rispetto ad altre storie, e mi si è disvelato più facilmente. Vuoi per la mia somma intelligenza di lettore ormai scafato, vuoi (soprattutto, dannazione) per le note sui risvolti di copertina che manca poco ti rivelano anche il finale fingendo di mascherarlo dietro giri di parole (S
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Elizabeth
When a body is found in a field of clay having been uncovered by a deluge it becomes a sensation because the body is recovered in thirty separate pieces. The press would like to sensationalize the find by putting it an the category of ritual killings, Satanic murder and other newsworthy events.

As much as Salvo Montalbano bemoans his slow creep into old age by refusing to wear eyeglasses he can still see clearly and can read the message of the body. The thirty pieces of a corpse, along with buria
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Roger
First of all a tribute to Stephen Sarterelli who translates Andrea Camilleri's excellent series into English. Just translating the words is probaly relatively straightforward but it must be so difficult to capture the spirit of what the author intends and how he wants his books to feel. Add to that the complexity of trying to put Sicilian dialect into English for some of the characters and the challenges must be immense. It seems to me that Mr Sarterelli succeeds completely in giving us just wha ...more
Farrah
This is one of a series of mysteries featuring an Italian police inspector, Montalbano. I wasn't sure at times if this book was quirky as a result of translation, writing style, or Italian culture. Some of the moments in the book that were intended to be comic relief I found to be awkward. A good example are scenes with Catarella (an officer who reports to Montalbano). He reminded me of a bumbling, slapstick character in a bad sitcom. However, scenes with Montalbano and his "pranks" caused me to ...more
Saji Connor
"Il Campo Del Vasaio" è il tredicesimo romanzo che vede come protagonista l'ormai famoso commissario Montalbano, pubblicato da Sellerio nel 2008 per 280 pagine.
La trama racconta di un cadavere fatto a pezzi ritrovato in un campo di creta appartenente ad un vasaio, le indagini partono da quì, e si inizia subito a cercare di capire se si tratta di vendetta, mafia, omicidio passionale.
Tra le difficoltà delle indagini la tensione viene alzata al massimo livello dai comportamenti dapprima sospetti, p
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Carol
I wish I had read The Potter's Field in print, rather than listening to the audio. It's rare that I say that, most audiobooks I've listened to have been well dones, and in general I enjoy listening to mysteries; this one was just a little tough. I don't know why exactly, maybe there was just too much dialogue for an audio, a little too difficult to keep the speakers straight. Or maybe the voices of Inspector Salvo Montalbano and the other characters were not how I heard them in my head when I re ...more
Pamela
I'm a big fan of this series by Andrea Camilleri, set in Sicily, and starring the aging Inspector Montalbano. The several previous entries have included Montalbano's musings about the aging process, and how his advancing years are affecting him. Or not. But "The Potter's Field" includes a little too much of this, while the mystery is not particularly interesting. Rather than playing out in an exciting climax, we have to read through several pages of explanation; "He did this, and then that happe ...more
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loyality and betrayal 1 7 Oct 11, 2012 08:04PM  
  • Ragionevoli dubbi
  • Una brutta faccenda
  • Morti di carta
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  • Almost Blue
  • La briscola in cinque
  • Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6)
  • Crimini
  • La donna della domenica
  • Il centravanti è stato assassinato verso sera
  • Περαίωση (Η Τριλογία της Κρίσεως, #2 )
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Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries.

Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. Around this time he joined the Italian Communist Party.

Fro
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More about Andrea Camilleri...

Other Books in the Series

Commissario Montalbano (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1)
  • The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2)
  • The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3)
  • Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano, #4)
  • Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5)
  • The Smell of the Night (Inspector Montalbano, #6)
  • Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano, #7)
  • The Patience of the Spider (Inspector Montalbano, #8)
  • The Paper Moon (Inspector Montalbano, #9)
  • August Heat (Inspector Montalbano, #10)
The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1) The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2) Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano, #4) The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3) Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5)

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“And, pointing a trembling finger at Bonetti-Alderighi, with an expression of indignation and a quasi-castrato voice, he launched into the climax:
Ah, so you, Mr. Commissioner, actually believed such a groundless accusation? Ah, I feel so insulted and humiliated! You're accusing me of an act - no, indeed, a crime that, if true, would warrant a severe punishment! As if I were a common idiot or gambler! That journalist must be possessed to think of such a thing!"
End of climax. The inspector inwardly congratulated himself. He had managed to utter a statement using only titles of novels by Dostoyevsky. Had the comissioner noticed? Of course not! The man was ignorant as a goat!”
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