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The Potter's Field (Commissario Montalbano #13)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,265 ratings  ·  155 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 1,982)
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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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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
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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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.
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
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..
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.
Saren
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� sedutt ...more
Alyce Eaton
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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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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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
Elanna
SPOILER ALERT!!!

Sono innamorata di Montalbano da sempre, quindi non chiedetemi oggettività. Adoro.
Comunque mi è sembrato un giallo un po' prevedibile.
Il commissario, l'ambientazione, Catarella e i deliziosi deliri intellettuali, invece, sono sempre amabili. C'è perfino l'autocitazione (chi si sente superiore ai mezzucci dica pure che qui si è esagerato, io mi sono quasi commossa dalla contentezza).
Il passo in cui persino Catarella si spaventa dello sconquasso causato dal suo stesso "tuppiare" ra
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Richard
The perfect antidote to cold winter days and long December nights. This is now the 13th in this wonderful series set in Sicily and Camilleri writes in a relaxed and entertaining fashion that means these familiar characters are lifted from the pages with ease and for the reader's total enjoyment.
A crime mystery with complex human interactions, where the solution is not always evident and brilliant detective work is needed to find the solution. For further inspiration our police officer Inspector
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Kathy
I did read this previously some years ago but enjoyed reading it again. I know when I first picked up Andrea Camilleri's books featuring Inspector Montalbano I was unable to tolerate the language. It no longer disturbs me as I love the well drawn character of the "pupeteer" as he refers to himself at the end of this book. It is witty, intelligent, amusing and a great approach to crime and appreciating friends, food and life in Italy.
Monica
Camilleri is witty and creative. This book is about betrayal. And murder. And Inspector Montalbano is once again tossed into the middle of it all. Of course he's just as focused on his food and wine. And Livia, the lady in his life. The books Camilleri writes, never disappoint. Characters continue to get stronger, the humour continues to flow, and the stories are always solid with a strong ending.
Mei
For me, one of the better books in the series. There is a lot going on here, but as usual, ever-so-charmingly done. And some genuinely funny - at times you can't help but imagine the events as he describes them and chuckle. Out loud. Which i don't do very often. Some moments of genius and our characters continue to grow - levelling up, as my friend Marika calls it - and it's all very satisfactory indeed.
Helen
A good outing for Montalbano, if slightly surreal (he is reading a novel by Andrea Camilleri?) The mystery of the identity of the corpse becomes clear to the reader before it strikes Montalbano, and the mystery of Mimi's behaviour is solved without Mimi wholly realising that he has been found out. Honour satisfied all round (and this one is quite funny in a laugh-out-loud way on occasion).
Brendan Monroe
These books keep getting better and better! 'The Potter's Field,' maybe the best Camilleri so far, is also the most meaningful. There is so much going on here and themes of betrayal, seduction, and manipulation bleed from every page. While this is possible to read as a stand-alone novel, it certainly helps to have some previous knowledge of the characters. But overall, highly, highly recommended!
Pete Wung
I am working my through the Inspector Montalbano mysteries. It has been a tremendous treat so far, and I have fallen into the rhythm of the writing and ther way Camilleri structures the stories. While I am still eagerly reading the mysteries, there was a sense that Camilleri was having a hard time sustaining the novels.

Until this one. This story really grabbed my attention and while staying true to the Montalbano franchise structure, the story line and the writing is much more focused and is muc
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loyality and betrayal 1 5 Oct 11, 2012 08:04PM  
  • Ragionevoli dubbi
  • Almost Blue
  • Una brutta faccenda
  • Morti di carta
  • Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6)
  • La briscola in cinque
  • Beastly Things (Commissario Brunetti, #21)
  • Difesa a zona
  • The Goodbye Kiss
  • La condanna del sangue: La primavera del commissario Ricciardi
  • Romanzo criminale
  • The Day of the Owl
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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...
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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