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The Terra-Cotta Dog (Commissario Montalbano #2)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,805 ratings  ·  303 reviews
Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious tte tte with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve ...more
Audio CD, 6 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kristel
Bodies pile up fast and easy in Andrea Camilleri's The Terra Cotta Dog but I understand why readers would consider the series to be on the lighter end of the mystery spectrum, straddling the genres of cozy and the grittier police procedural. For one thing, Inspector Salvo Montalbano thinks more deeply about about literature and anchovy dishes than the criminals he has to deal with in his hometown of Vigata, a fictional town situated in Sicily. The story is also bouyed by the humor, often derived ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
LJ
First Sentence: To judge from the entrance the dawn was making, it promised to be a very iffy day—that is, blasts of angry sunlight one minute, fits of freezing rain the next, all of it seasoned with sudden gusts of wind—one of those days when someone who is sensitive to abrupt shifts in weather and suffers them in his blood and brain is likely to change opinion and direction continuously, like those sheets of tin, cut in the shape of banners and rooster, that spin every which way on rooftops wi ...more
Leslie
This second Inspector Montalbano mystery is pleasantly convoluted -- in addition to Mafia gun-smuggling, the shooting of known fugitive only hours after his arrest, Montalbano is also trying to solve a 50-year-old murder of two young lovers.

I love the way Montalbano loves his food & his walks on the beach, his attempts to focus on his girlfriend Livia when his mind in on a case, his colleagues at the station...
Lilias
Jan 03, 2008 Lilias rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ppl who can read Italian
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I read this because nearly everyone on my father's side of the family adores Inspector Montalbano, and I felt it was time I was introduced. Despite Montalbano's possession of qualities I usually love in people (intense emotions, admiration of beauty, respect for honest people, the love of good food, the love of good books, the use of crude & rude language, etc), I was left feeling indifferent to the main character.

What I enjoyed most about this book was Camilleri's attention to the unique d
...more
Colette Wolff
I wanted to like this book better. It was presented to me as a book I would like for the same reasons I like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency Series, i.e. that the mystery to be solved and the detective work in the story share the stage with the characters, the enjoyable quirkiness of life in that country and the personal experiences of the detective. I did not find this with The Terra-Cotta Dog. The detective's character was either not well-developed or not sympathetic enough (perhaps he ...more
Kenneth
I enjoyed The Terra-Cotta Dog quite a bit but mostly for sentimental reasons. I'm new to the series but only came to them from recommendations from my father. He liked this series a lot as well as the Brunetti books from Donna Leon.

I suspect that he liked the Montalbano character a bit more because, like Montalbano, my dad was obsessed by good food and good meals. Montalbano's mood and detective skills are greatly affected by the quality of his food intake.

Before my father passed away he had b
...more
E.M. Lynley
The second in the series I read (listened to).

This is earlier in the series than the first one I read (Voice of the Violin). I'm glad I didn't read this one first. Montalbano comes across as much more of a jerk here, esp in relation to how he treats his girlfriend Livia. He doesn't get along very well with the others in his department and has an inappropriate relationship with someone working for him.

That aside, the mystery of the dead couple and the dog mentioned in the title took a long time
...more
Jennifer Sowle
This is the sequel to "The Shape of Water," a Sicilian mystery novel featuring the fabulous Inspector Montalbano. While the first novel, even with the exceptional translation by Stephen Sartarelli, was a little difficult for me to “get into,” the wacky characters and Camilleri’s sardonic humor were refreshing. Here, Camilleri has me hooked on page one with an incredible, twisted plot and crazy characters. Reading one scene, I laughed so hard I had to set the book aside until I could calm myself ...more
Alfredo
Lo dicho: Camilleri marcha a contracorriente del género negro. Donde el resto de los autores —no todos pero sí, al menos, los que se considera como puntales del género— se afana por incluir sofisticados aparatos que ayudan a encontrar todo tipo de pistas —y a darles un significado preciso, faltaba más—, o hacen a sus personajes trabajar en complejos laboratorios, a través de cuyas máquinas se enfrentan a crímenes de lo más estrambótico, en los que intervienen docenas de personas y que tienen alc ...more
Caroline
Another quirky adventure for Inspector Montalbano. He's invited to meet with the infamous and deadly Tano the Greek, a man whose name strikes terror in the hearts of many and who the Anti-Mafia Commission have been dying to get their hands on. His meeting with the deadly crime lord puts in motion a series of activities with surprising and hilarious consequences.

In the middle of his clandestine plans, Inspector Montalbano finds himself dealing with a supermarket robbery that the supermarket owne
...more
Ian Russell
Camilleri is having fun with his Vigata characters since the first Montalbano novel, not least with the protagonist himself. I was relieved to see the introduction of Catarella, the hapless, simpleton cop whose omission from the first novel had me thinking he'd only been included in the television series as a bad production decision, or a favour to the actor. I have to say his character is more at home in this novel than on screen; they're all a bit crazy in the book Vigata.

If I'm being honest,
...more
Monica
This is Andrea Camilleri’s second mystery featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano. And it’s even better than the first, as Montalbano’s character becomes more complexly formed...his likes and dislikes becoming evident, his love of food, his relationship with Livia, his quirky way of working through a mystery. Did I mention food? Italian mysteries have a way of making my mouth water, of making me want to dive into a plate of pasta and Camilleri’s writing is no exception. The author is very adept at ...more
Jemima Pett
Fans of Salvu Montalbano, the Sicilian detective, will enjoy this ramble through the last fifty years of Sicilian history and politics, which is what happens as the crime investigations progress. An absurd 'practical joke' leads into a discovery of an arms cache, which in turns leads to a more sinister discovery.

In some ways the story flags after the first two incidents, as the story is not about them; they are merely the antipasti, if you like, since the book is heavily laden with Montalbano's
...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
What a grumpy so-and-so Montalbano is, yet how clever! A supermarket is robbed and then the goods are found abandoned. A secret stash of Mafia guns are located and then, almost accidentally, a strange "burial". These apparently unrelated events lead us into an investigation in which Montalbano and his team shine! Humour, good food, grumpiness and eccentricity, Sicily, Mafia and atmosphere... What a joy!
Eva
A veces me cuesta meterme en las historias de Montalbano, pero al final siempre me atrapan. Esta en concreto me ha gustado por la trama que parece que se vaya a centrar en la mafia (ufff) pero en realidad es mucho más, y también porque cada vez me cae más simpático Montalbano.
Nicki Markus
I am not usually a fan of the mystery/crime genre, so I approached this book with a little trepidation. To my surprise though, I was hooked within the first few pages. Inspector Montalbano is an instantly likeable character and I was keen to see him succeed and solve the crime.

There were several links in the story chain, each seeming completely seperate at first but later many of them fused into one. In fact, one of the things that I liked most about this book is that many of the twists did come
...more
John Carella
I can always count on Andrea Camilleri and Inspector Montalbano when I want to take a jaunt through Sicily, enjoy a good mystery, and salivate over passionate descriptions of food. You have to love a detective who somehow ends up lured into a roadside trattoria for a plate of squid on his way to a crime scene. I can count on these books to make me laugh out loud a few times in every story. Of the three I've read, The Terra-Cotta Dog has been my favorite. It is longer and more complex than the ot ...more
Martin
I just received this delightful book from a friend as a birthday present. I am not much of reader of mysteries, but based on my limited experience with the genre (Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal being my favorite) I've concluded that a sympathetic, underdog detective is one of its most necessary conventions.

This is certainly the case with the Camilleri's wonderful Inspector Montalbano, a bookish lone wolf who navigates the dangers of Sicilian crime in between encounters with the various women i
...more
Mei
Another quirky detective makes his way into my consciousness. Sicily. Italian food, the ever-present mafia, passionate women, eccentric old folk, memories...this was fun and light-hearted in nature. The pacing was slightly odd - some parts went very quickly, but in parts it dragged a little, so perhaps a little editing?

This was my first introduction to Inspector Montalbano. He's fairly likeable, and certainly written to appeal. The beginning of the book didn't really work for me, and the whole
...more
Veronica Bejarano
Otra obra de Camilleri que me encanta, tiene tantos matices y a la vez es tan sencilla. La historia de amor es muy bonita y el caso de lo más interesante. Siempre es una buena oportunidad para leer a este gran autor!
Mikee
So I think I've cracked the code with Camilleri. The plots are multi-stranded. Random people get killed along the way. Convenient memories / hunches open up entirely new paths for investigation. On the other hand Salvo Montalbano is a lovable egotistical SOB and the supporting characters are interesting, if shallow. The love for Sicily is also apparent. So, long story short, it's an enjoyable read and I just ordered the third book in this series.
Julie
Honestly like i've commented already this genre is really not my cup of tea, and till around the first half of the book i wasn't that interested about the whole story. Personally i find the inspector really annoying sometime, as he embodies one of the kind of people that i deeply dislike: he's often arrogant, and rude in his prepotency. He think himself capable to do absolutely everything on his own, yet he's always asking for other people's help, but never having them really participate on what ...more
Nick Jones
There is always a problem for the author of these detective series: do they presume the reader already knows the character? Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe novels were fine because the detective existed in a pristine isolation, but Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano is part of a police force and part of a community and The Terracotta Dog begins very clunky: Camelleri introduces us to his reoccurring characters, but is unsure whether we have already met, the result is slightly stiff and clumsy. But the ...more
Frances Sawaya
Enjoyed the solving of a 50-year-old mystery. Sleuthing remains the same but harder to find eye witnesses. Clever use of an airplane banner to solve the crime. Sorry to see this holiday end because with it goes the fantastic service of the Carlsbad Library services. What a great gift to the reading public! New Montalbano book out this week. Should get it for the flight home.
Masteatro
Ha sido un placer reencontrame con el Comisario Montalbano al que tenía un poco olvidado y pasearme de su mano por Sicilia. Un personaje con personalidad y que se hace querer.
Nick
Camillleri's second Montalbano novel entranced me. I appreciate the social and political commentary woven through these stories but what I really enjoyed in this one was the descriptions of Sicilian cooking. I wanted to put the book down and go cook several times, but the narrative and characters carried me along. Still, I think I'm cooking Italian tonight...
Joyce
Thoughtful, intelligent writing makes this a satisfying, entertaining read. In this case, cranky Inspector Montalbano works to unravel a 50-year-old murder. The inspector, while brilliant and intuitive, is quite human. Avoiding press conferences is almost an art form for the inspector. On camera, he's all nerves, sweaty, red-faced, tongue-tied. He's sometimes petty and jealous, which makes for lively, funny reading. At times, he's flummoxed by the thinking and actions of his cross-country love, ...more
Karen
While this was a fairly unchallenging and quick read I didn't enjoy it as much as The Shape of Water. I don't know if it's a case of something being lost in translation or if after watching the tv series I have an image of what the characters should be like and in the book they are different, I found Montalbano quite irritating in this book.
Nancy
A quick read and an interesting detective. His intuitive leaps are sometimes a stretch but the author does a wonderful job of weaving in an ancient Christian and then Muslim legend as part of the plot. And, certainly, after 2 Camilleri books, I have a strong desire to visit Sicily just for the food.
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17350
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 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 Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano, #11)
The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1) Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano, #4) The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3) Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5) August Heat (Inspector Montalbano, #10)

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“The memory of the aged becomes clearer and clearer with time. It has no pity.” 8 likes
“And in our dark days, with so many threatening clouds on the horizon, he concluded, we puff up a story like this to drug people, to distract their
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divert them with a Romeo-and-Juliet
story, one scripted, however, by a soap opera writer.”
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