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The Potter's Field (Commissario Montalbano #13)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,466 Ratings  ·  233 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,
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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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
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-mystery
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
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
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrea Camilleri is one of my favorite mystery writers. His Montalbano series are one of the best in the genre. I have watched every episode of the TV series made according to his novels. Inspector Montalbano is just one of a kind, and one of my favorite detectives. The Potter's Field is the thirteenth in the row.

The police gets a call about a dead body on a private property, a place called the potter's field. It is raining heavily and when the police arrives, the body is gone. But soon after th
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-italy
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
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
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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..
Ken Fredette
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Only Camilleri could come up with such a convoluted murder plot and resolution.! The whole department is stressed, even in their personal lives, and doing the legwork on this one only adds to their woes. But Montalbano susses it all out and uses the solution to bring things back on track for the team. Another great read from the master!
Adam Moss
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was fun and entertaining to read. It took me a bit to get used to some of the characters' speaking styles, but once I did it was great.
Νίκος Μ
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Ο γνωστός Καμιλέρι με σφιχτή πλοκή,ωραία ιστορία και γερές δόσεις χιούμορ κυρίως με τον Καταρέλα :) Οι fans θα μείνουν σίγουρα ικανοποιημένοι με το αποτέλεσμα
Gaia Zappia
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leggere Montalbano partendo da zero è un' esperienza non del tutto semplice o leggera, ma che vale assolutamente la pena di tentare.

L'ostacolo principale rimane l'uso quasi esclusivo del dialetto siciliano nella narrazione, a primo impatto discutibile. A fine lettura diventa però chiaro come la Sicilia di Camilleri incarni una Sicilia.-personaggio,, altrettanto manifesta nelle descrizioni di cibi, paesaggi e nella rappresentazione di siparietti comici. Proprio questa Sicilia rende il commissario
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a second reading of this book for me, and I loved it. Camilleri's more recent books have left me feeling disappointed and, frankly, repelled by the poor plotting and inattentive writing in general.

The Potter's Field is insightful, tender, creative, aware, and beautiful! No clichéd treatment of the Mafia here; no caricaturization of even the most susceptible. Even Catarella has surprising complexities of character and capabilities.

I think this may be my favorite of the many AC b
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this a five, but the ending irritated me. The criminal investigation had the usual twists, although I was able to figure out one of The Who done it's fairly early. In this outing, a body, cut into several pieces, is discovered in Potter's Field. Meanwhile, one of the secondary characters - Mimi Augello, is acting very surly. By the end of the book, we find out why, but there isn't much of a consequence for his actions. That's what irritated me. I kept waiting in the final page ...more
Robert John Blackwell Jr
The potters field

My first time reading Andrea camilleri and I was thoroughly entertained! Love the itali an dialect and right at home feel. Look forward to reading more of Andrea camilleri!
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hated it. Didn't finish.
RS Fuster
I wasn't crazy about the reader!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mannaccia Mimì! :)
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery, humor, italy
Great! Hilarious! Sexy! Sicily! Colombians! Mafioso! Montalbano! The Gospels! Holy Hootis, what a ride!
Punam Farmah
Salvo returns to form; Mimi is a doofus and ought to remember his vows.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"E a mia, che minni futti ? .... grannissima rottura di cabasisi !"
Simon Dinsdale
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vintage Camilleri. You can visualize Montalbano and friends as they move through the plot. These books are on a par with the best of Agatha Christie in my opinion.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining to read.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ricapitolando: Livia ha più corna di un alce (non che me ne dolga, è solo una constatazione), Mimì è un ... (termine non adatto ad una recensione), e Montalbano salva la faccenda in corner. non male.
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loyality and betrayal 1 7 Oct 11, 2012 08:04PM  
  • Ragionevoli dubbi
  • Una brutta faccenda
  • I delitti di via Medina-Sidonia
  • La condanna del sangue: La primavera del commissario Ricciardi
  • Serpenti nel Paradiso
  • La briscola in cinque
  • Non è stagione
  • Almost Blue
  • Crimini
  • Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand (Commissaire Adamsberg, #6)
  • Il centravanti è stato assassinato verso sera
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)
  • 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)
“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!”
“Montalbano recalled how in now distant times, when the sea withdrew, it would leave behind only sweet-smelling algae and beautiful shells that were like gifts to mankind. Now it only gave back our own rubbish.” 0 likes
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