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The Snack Thief (Commissario Montalbano #3)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  3,840 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
In the third book in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, the urbane and perceptive Sicilian detective exposes a viper's nest of government corruption and international intrigue in a compelling new case. When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily's coas ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 1996)
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Nancy Oakes
As I work my way through this series, Andrea Camilleri is quickly becoming one of my favorite crime fiction authors, and Salvo Montalbano one of my favorite characters. How can you not like him? He's grumpy, cantankerous, and crabby and yet he has a compassionate side. He lives for the best, most delectable food, and although flawed in many ways, he has an incredible handle on human nature. The Snack Thief is number three in this series, and I wasted absolutely no time after Terra-Cotta Dog to s ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This takes the prize. My all-time favorite Montalbano...and as usual, when I really like something, it's harder to write about it. D'habitude, I retreat into quotations. So here goes...

Clementina Vasile Cozzo makes her first appearance - a minor character but both admirable and spicy. "For decades the respectable people here did nothing but repeat that the Mafia was no concern of theirs but only involved the people involved in it. But I used to teach my pupils that the 'see-nothing, know-nothing
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

Ambiguity is a highly valued and well-tolerated state in Italy. (Likewise Japan.) It makes so much of the insane, illogical world the Italians have created and laughingly called a "government" and a "social fabric" function, this ability to be more than one thing at one time.

Immigrants, seldom from high ambiguity-tolerant climes, screw things up mightily. Karima certainly does, that Tunisian house cleaner-cum-sex worker. She thinks she's moved to a place away from the stark com
Jemima Pett
Jun 22, 2013 Jemima Pett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The Snack Thief is the third in Andrea Camilleri's wonderful series starring the Sicilian detective Salvu Montalbano. Here is a heady combination of crime, intrigue, sun, seafood dishes, pasta and a tangled love life. Salvu is a bit snitty round his staff sometimes, but he's also great fun. My brother, who's read them all in the original Italian/Sicilian (!), says Signor Camilleri is somewhat formulaic, but I haven't yet found that. What I have found is pacy writing, formed largely from dialogue ...more
Gabriel Valjan
Aug 30, 2012 Gabriel Valjan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Snack Thief is probably my favorite Camilleri novel for one simple reason: you see Salvo coming to terms with fatherhood or rather that he isn’t a father. It is a bittersweet epiphany that is captured in a sincere way. He comes to know a young boy who is on the run from killers. Read the picnic scene and the interaction between François and Salvo and it’ll bring a tear to your eye. Camilleri also shows Salvo’s girlfriend Livia’s struggling with motherhood. Emotions run deep in the Montalbano ...more
Richard Brand
Montalbano has been revealed in this book to be a much larger "ass" as he has been called by most of the people who work for him and his girl friend. He is ruder, mean, nastier than he was in the first two novels, in my opinion. The story itself is a interesting convoluted mystery on two planes: a personal murder and international complications. The story does end with Montalbano trying to make nice to his girl friend by talking about changing the nature of their relationship. I am not sure I wi ...more
Sep 27, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Camilleri, Andrea. THE SNACK THIEF. (2003). ****. I got about fifty pages into this book when I realized I had read it before. I hate when this happens, but I had to finish it because I couldn’t remember how it ended. It is another in the excellent series by this author featuring Inspector Montalbano of the Sicilian police force. Things go differently in Sicily than they do in the rest of the world, and nobody knows this as well as the Inspector. He has to think like the criminal element, and th ...more
May 24, 2011 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in Andrea Camilleri’s crime/mystery series featuring Inspector Montalbano. I love how cynical Montalbano can be, how he thinks things through in his own times appearing to be heartless and mean without reason. But there is always a reason! Also love all the “food” talk. Find myself wanting to cook the Italian foods that are mentioned often throughout each of Camilleri’s books.

Jacket notes: “When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an
May 25, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very good book in the Inspector Montalbano series. This all stems from a mysterious death in an elevator and someone being killed on a boat. Quite a bit of intrigue and plotting in this book. Also some interesting development between Montalbano and Livia. If you haven't given this series a try, I would most definitely recommend it. I look forward to reading further books in this series.
Apr 09, 2009 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Montalbano book I've read after the series was recommended to me by a friend. I love Sicily, and am a great fan of Donna Leon's detective stories which are set in Venice so I was pretty sure I'd like this - and I did. The hero, Montalbano, is a real character, a man with an appetite for good food, wine, his work and life. But he is also a maverick, whose back is constantly being covered by long-suffering colleagues. He also does not appreciate his poor girlfriend and has terrib ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Für mich das erste Mal, dass ich einen italienischen Krimi lese. Die Geschichte hatte Tempo und Temperament so dass die 300 Seiten sehr kurzweilig waren. Auch die kulinarischen Erwähnungen ließen einem teilweise das Wasser im Mund zusammenlaufen.
Jun 22, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grateful to have found an excellent series of crime novels (with a large back catalog) to devour. It helps that Camilleri writes so beautifully about food! The mystery was a little hard to follow, but the tone was just right.
Jul 16, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Camilleri sets a series of mysteries in Sicily, with Inspector Montalbano as the sleuth. The books are written in colloquial Italian/Sicilian and translated; the writer or the translator is getting better. This, the third of the series, is decidedly easier to read and more entertaining than the earlier works. Local color makes the books interesting. The local political scene, set in the present day, is reminiscent of the common view of a Sicily in which corruption is commonplace. Perhaps the aut ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Gayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first of the TV versions I saw and it certainly did the book justice. Fantastic.
Jul 05, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable book set in Sicily featuring the cranky Inspector Montalbano.
Dec 04, 2012 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in the Montelbano series - I just love this series. It is not as dark and troubled as the Zen series character which I also enjoyed. Montelbano is confused, chaotic, multi faceted, in fact very Italian with a central theme of the food. Oh, the food - I am recreating the dishes described in the book as far as I can. And, the humour - there are laugh out loud moments and moments of genius insight. I enjoyed the first few TV progs and now am downloading Series 3 from itunes. Highl ...more
Rating: 3.75, 12 (non-graphic sex scenes, swearing and some violence. It's a crime novel)

This was my first Montalbano book. I've watched one episode of the TV series (but apparently the one I watched wasn't actually Montalbano but a different Italian guy with a bald head in the same agency?). Anyway, my expectations of the novel were completely off. It grew on me as I went (and remembered that a novel is a different experience than a TV show), especially Montalbano himself. He's the sort of char
Apr 06, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Montalbano, likes more than just mere snacks.

He gobbled up a sauté of clams in breadcrumbs, a heaped dish of spaghetti in white clam sauce, a roast turbot with caramelized lemon, and topped it all off with a bitter chocolate timbale in orange sauce.

But then he is not the snack thief, just your average Sicilian, who likes good food. This is not a book for anyone on a diet, the dishes described are so tantalising. It is not actually a book about Sicilian cuisine (although many mouthwater
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to Inspector Montalbano on a trip to visit my dad, who has lately been burning through the series and couldn’t stop raving about it. While I was there, we watched a couple of the TV shows, and then dad sent me The Snack Thief as a birthday present.

I can be quite picky about mysteries. I find that too often they rely on withholding information or on giving the characters absurd ideas or quasi-psychic insight to reach the correct conclusions, and that’s frustrating because it make
Aug 27, 2014 Thebooktrail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series, and oh how we love this Italian police series!

Take the tour of the locations in the book here: Montalbano tour here

He has a certain way about him and a determination to get to the truth.

In the case of the snack thief, Montalbano exposes a viper’s nest of government corruption and international intrigue when an elderly man is stabbed to death in an lift. A crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tun
Nick Jones
The third Montalbano book and the third I’ve read in just over three months. Two things are happening: 1) I find I’m getting a little addicted to them and 2) I find I’m getting a little irritated by them...this is not a good combination. One problem is that I find the detectives in detective fiction smug know-it-alls. (My favourite detective stories tend to be ones where the detective gets it wrong: Trent’s Last Case or films such as The Conversation or Night Moves.) Of course Montalbano has his ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Alfredo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negra
Difícilmente puede uno encontrar un autor de novelas policiacas que le haga sombra a Camilleri. No solo por el modo en el que construye la trama policiaca propiamente dicha sino, sobre todo, por la manera en la que abandona ese mismo entorno detectivesco, de investigación, y se introduce en el lado emotivo de los personajes. En este sentido, sería erróneo calificar como "novela negra" lo que hace Camilleri, aun cuando el protagonista de sus textos sea un policía y este mismo policía suela verse ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I’ve never read any of Andrea Camilleri’s books, so a friend of mine who knows that I like mystery stories recommended it. And it was perfect! Andrea Camilleri knows how to tell stories that touch people. In this book, there were two central themes: we have the Italian family (which sometimes looks a lot like a Greek family) and the crimes that are committed within it and then love and sex (and most of the times those two don’t meet each other).

The one thing that I liked in
Ian Russell
The third novel in the Montalbano series and the fourth one I've read. I may have mentioned in the previous Montalbano review that I didn't think it worth reading another. But, like high street chain pizzas, sometimes you might get an offer too low to refuse. 1.99, I think, though it has been sitting in the Kindle library for almost a year! Maybe like a frozen pizza....

As you no doubt know, Inspector Montalbano is senior detective heading up a police station in a part of Sicily. He has a small f
3.5 stars. The plot is extremely relevant given the current global debates around immigration. The descriptions of the food prepared at the trattoria in Mazara made me salivate. I'd love to be able to try the authentic dishes described.

The book also develops the relationship between Livia and Montalbano with an interesting addition to the family.

I really enjoy the series for the authenticity of the setting and characters.
K.B. Hallman
This is the first book I've read in this series. And I will certainly be reading the rest of the series. Montalbano shares some character traits with Reginald Hill's Fat Andy Dalziel. Montalbano is unconventional, has his own sense of justice, and is fearless about seeing that his justice is served. But I have to hope that not every book in this series ends with a case summary--I definitely didn't like that aspect.
Jul 11, 2015 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It begins with a stabbing of a 65-year-old man in an elevator in his apartment building. Enter a paraplegic woman who sits by her window and watches the world go by every day. Her apartment window overlooks the dead man's business whereby she can watch what goes on in his office. Montalbano notices her when he is at the man's business and goes over to her apartment and introduces himself. He learns of a beautiful woman named Karima that comes there and has sex with a couple of men that have keys ...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3rd in the Inspector Montalbano series.[return][return]Montalbano is faced with something of a dilemma. A fishing boat has been fired on in what the captain claims was international waters by a Tunisian patrol boat; one of the crew was killed. Although the boat is from a different port, it docks, with the body, in Vig
Tim Schiraldi
Jul 21, 2015 Tim Schiraldi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The best of the series thus far.Off the Sicilian coast a fishing trawler is fired upon by a Tunisian patrol boat in the area. One of the workers of the fishing trawler was shot and killed. That same morning an elderly man is found stabbed to death in his apartment building elevator. To make it worse, there is a young boy stealing other children's snacks! How do these events come together? Through crooked Sicilian politics, corrupt law enforcement system, and back alley deals! This is just a lit ...more
Linda Howe Steiger
This third in Andrea Camilieri’s Inspector Montalbano series, and good one to read to discover (at last for me) the life history of “crazy from birth” Salvo Montalbano. All of the basic character pieces are brought together: Catarella’s good hearted incompetencies, Mimi, the Commissioner (not an indiot as are most bosses in police procedurals), the relationship with Livia, Angelina, the linked smell and color senses of Salvo, marvellous fishy dishes, the importance of weather, swimming and naked ...more
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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.

More about Andrea Camilleri...

Other Books in the Series

Commissario Montalbano (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1)
  • The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2)
  • 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)

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“Montalbano felt moved. This was real friendship, Sicilian friendship, the kind based on intuition, on what was left unsaid. With a true friend, one never needs to ask, because the other understands on his own accordingly.” 13 likes
“Montalbano and Valente seemed not to have heard him, looking as if their minds were elsewhere. But in fact they were paying very close attention, like cats that, keeping their eyes closed as if asleep, are actually counting the stars. ” 6 likes
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