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The Paper Moon

(Commissario Montalbano #9)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  4,568 ratings  ·  294 reviews
The latest mystery in Andrea Camilleri's internationally bestselling Inspector Montalbano series

With their dark sophistication and dry humor, Andrea Camilleri's classic crime novels continue to win more and more fans in America. The latest installment of the popular mystery series finds the moody Inspector Montalbano further beset by the existential questions that have be
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Penguin (first published 2005)
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Glam Italia! How to Travel Italy by Corinna CookeThe Potter's Field by Andrea CamilleriThe Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di LampedusaAugust Heat by Andrea CamilleriVoice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri
115 books — 21 voters
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha ChristieLord Edgware Dies by Agatha ChristieThe Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Case of the Stuttering Bishop by Erle Stanley GardnerDead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters
Best Book 9s in a Series
161 books — 29 voters

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 ·  4,568 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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David R. Dowdy
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, inspector
A missing middle-age man is reported by his sister, Michela Pardo. She convinces Inspector Salvo Montalbano to search for him. This is how the police procedural, The Paper Moon, begins. Soon, Camilleri weaves a wonderful and intriguing story that looks into Angelo Pardo’s past.

Montalbano’s police station is in the fictitious city of Vigata near Palermo. To put yourself there, imagine a romantic old city. Stucco buildings painted vivid colors, scrolled black iron railings penning second-floor bal
Camilleri's books are always a great fun!

4* The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1)
4* The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2)
3* Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5)
4* The Smell of the Night (Inspector Montalbano, #6)
3* Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano, #7)
4* The Patience of the Spider (Inspector Montalbano, #8)
4* The Paper Moon (Inspector Montalbano, #9)
3* The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano, #11)
3* Acqua in bocca (Inspector Montalbano, #16.5)
4* Treasure
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an introduction to the series for me, and 'yes' I will be reading more. The main character, Inspector Montalbano, is quirky and grumpy - I love him. He has a photographic memory (extremely useful!) and solves crime in interesting ways (letters to himself, dreams, watching cinematic and theatrical scenes in his head). He also works a problem on moonlit walks along the beach with a glass of something potent in his hand and waves lapping around his ankles, or by heading to his local tratto ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I first met Montalbano in the Italian TV series with English subtitles and fell in love. Reading a Montalbano novel is like listening to my husband and his best friend banter back and forth. I guess it's true what they say: "Italiani, spagnoli, una fazza, una razza." When I picked this one up I was dangerously close to reading-slump territory--so much so, that I was afraid even to try a Maigret novel in case I was disappointed. What? It has happened. It was yet another sleepless night, so I thou ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This particular series has been a solid 3 stars for me. I enjoy the MC. He is quirky and can carry a book. I like his thought process in finding the guilty. I never really know how he is going to get to the end, so that always reels me in. I usually enjoy the story line as well, but this one was just okay for me. It wasn't my favorite in this series. But overall, this was still enjoyable. So 3 stars.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absurd; usually keeps the plot near; humorous; delves into aging; funny; dark; literate; consistently interesting.
David Highton
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Montalbano gets to the bottom of another murder in his own idiosyncratic way - some excellent characters in the story - and Montalbano starts to get concerned about ageing.
Ray LaManna
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another very good Inspector Montalbano story...this one is a bit intricate.
Liz Mc2
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
Continuing the Montalbano audio binge.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
The is the 9th book in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series. I continue to love this main character. Montalbano is abrupt, moody, sarcastic, and self-indulgent while at the same time he maintains his high sense of morals in his own complex scheme of right from wrong.

In "The Paper Moon" Montalbano works his way through the clues to find out who murdered Pardo, a seemingly innocent pharmaceutical rep. Once again Camilleri's writing is crisp and the dialogue is believable and often humor
Tracy L
The Montalbano series reminds me of Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies Detective Agency series - only this is a slightly coarser version set in Sicily. The language is light but fun, and the plot well paced but far from taxing. A nice easy read, made all the more entertaining by the grumpy character of Montalbano and his worries about old age. A good holiday read.
Tony Snyder
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another charming entry in the Inspector Montalbano series. The Inspector comforts me as he is methodical and loves food and sleep! I love the explanatory notes by the translator as they provide insight into Sicilian culture and that of Italy generally. I cannot recommend this series highly enough!
Ellie Spencer
I find myself invested in this series. Camilleri’s writing is always exquisite, and I find myself wanting to devour every book. Inspector Montalbano is one of my favourite main characters. However, this one was one of my least favourite of the series. There was no big surprises, nothing that shocked me. At times I find the storyline a little confusing too. The constant jumping between suspects was all becoming a little difficult and the ending didn’t fully satisfy my hope for justice. I’m hoping ...more
Elaine Nickolan
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great installment of Inspector Montalbano. This time Salvo feels like he is slipping a little as he gets older. However, with patience and perseverance, once again, he solves the crime. Mr. Camilleri is the Italian version of Agatha Christie for me. Little by little the Inspector takes us from start to finish, and I just love when he has his "aha" moment. The reading always flies by as he begins his explanation and solving of the crime. Once again, Bravo Mr. Camilleri
 Sophia B
I want to move to Vigata and eat silently at Enzo's with Salvo and take a meditative stroll in Marinella. I love Camilleri's humour and Sartarelli's translation. Long live Camilleri!
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As entertaining as usual. I remembered the plot from watching it on television, but it didn't matter.
Cathy Cole
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
First Line: The alarm rang, as it had done every morning for the past year, at seven-thirty.

The moody Inspector Salvo Montalbano has been plagued by the sense of his own mortality of late. He's trying to dodge all those morbid questions floating around in his mind-- without much success-- so what he needs is a good murder to take his mind off death. This he gets when the body of a man-- shot in the face at point-blank range-- with his pants down around his ankles is found.

Montalbano soon has mor
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
#9 Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily, Italy. Once again, beautiful women and corrupt men pepper Inspector Montalbano's investigation into the death of one Angelo Pardo, a pharmaceutical representative. There's Angelo's sister Michela--who reported him missing and his mistress Elena, whose husband is older and impotent and allows his wife her sexual freedom. Both seem to be playing off one another, blaming each other for Angelo's death, and both are definitely suspects and not telling the ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, european
Please don't ask me what the correct order of this series is, as I've got absolutely no idea. I've never found the need to worry about it as each book works on its own, and each book is one of those little pieces of joy that just make you feel good.

Part of it has got to be Inspector Montalbano who is just so gloriously grumpy and idiosyncratic that he leaps alive from each and every page. Part of it is the setting which is woven into the action so seamlessly that you're just there, in that locat
Apr 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Montalbano fans, with reservations
Shelves: italy, new
I have always treasured the books in this series far more for their flavor than for any strength of plot or characterization; Inspector Salvu Montalbano has always seemed to me to be a pale imitation of Colin Dexter's brilliant creation, Inspector Endeavor Morse, and the plots have ranged from ingenious to, increasingly as the series has progressed, downright obvious. Still, the books are imbued with a wonderful feel for Sicily and, especially and mouthwateringly, Sicilian cuisine, to my mind th ...more
Lou Robinson
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a difficult book to rate. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. It was just ok. So that makes it a 2* right? But overall, on balance, that seems harsh, so maybe it's really a 2.5*. It was an impulse buy at Paphos airport, having finished the last paperback I took on holiday before I got on the plane and needing something to fill the 4 hour journey home. Except I ended up buying 2 and reading the other one.
The downsides of The Paper Moon - it felt like it was too literal a translation thro
Jim Leffert
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Paper Moon is one of a series of police procedural detective novels that take place in Vigata, a fictional town in Sicily, featuring the quirky “everyman” Inspector Montalbano and his equally quirky colleagues. Having never visited Sicily, I was hoping for descriptions of the scenery and local customs, but the story, as translated by Stephen Sartarelli, read like it could have taken place anywhere in Italy. (Reportedly, these novels feature local Sicilian dialect and expressions that don’t make ...more
Frances Sawaya
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is no getting around it! I am hooked on Montalbano whether it be the series on telly ( with the dynamic Luca Zingaretti as the inspector) or the new series on BBC, "The Young Montalbano." or the books created by Camilleri. Makes for great reading in the wee small hours when insomnia hits. Interesting to see how the young Catarella is portrayed and how Montalbano makes a place for him in the workplace and eventually comes to realize his hidden talents. I also enjoyed how poor Mimi is pigeon ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun series set in Italy where Commissario Montalbano and his motley police force have to solve some really bizarre crimes usually with political implications.

In this case a man is found shot up on a roof with his penis hanging out of his pants. There are plenty of suspicious people around him including his sister who just seems way too cozy with her brother. There is always lots of humor in these books as Montalbano who reminds me of the Italian version of Columbo stumbles through the
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was okay - which is good, because now I know I don't have to read any others in the series.
Nicholas Nagykery
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Captivating! Learned a thing or two about how to survive at work and enjoy life. I highly recommend this detective series by Andrea Camilleri.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can I just say that it was really nice to go into a book not knowing anything about it. Literally, I picked this up at a school fete a few years back for super cheap and it’s been sitting on my shelf since, but I hadn’t heard of it before. I didn’t know anybody who had either. It felt like a sort of clean slate. A blank page. A new discovery.

As it turns out, apparently it’s quite popular over in Italy. One of my friends who studied Italian here in Australia even watched an episode of the tv ada
Kimberly Ann
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Inspector Montalbano is called to what at first seems to be a missing persons investigation....

Michela calls Montalbano to help her find her missing brother Angelo, who has not shown up for his visit with his mother, nor has he called. Together they go to Angelo's apartment, they find him murdered in his terrace room, his face blown off & pants down.

Angelo had a married lover, Elena whom Michela hated. Elena's husband had a past of jealousy & violence. Angelo's previous girlfriend was also not
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I saw an interview with Andrea Camilleri, at the end of his long life, who described writing the Montalbano novels then as, to paraphrase--well you've got Montalbano; Mimì, who's a womanizer; Catarella, who can never remember names properly; and so forth--all you need is the story. That's the best and the worst of these novels in a nutshell--sometimes the books just seemed as if the author just mailed them in. But when they work, they are excellent company.

This one falls into that category. A v
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, italy
Candy is dandy, but...

Montalbano loves fish. He loves fish so much - I don't know how he sustains his love. For fish.

Sicily, crazy cops, crazy officials, crazy government, crazy murder, crazy women, yes, the crazy women. Salvo Montalbano lives on the sea, and goes for long walks on the beach after eating, before bed, and, well, whenever. He walks on the beach, crabs at his men, weighs his interviews, resists the beautiful, no, gorgeous, unbelievably gorgeous women who are all over the mystery of
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Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) was 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.


Other books in the series

Commissario Montalbano (1 - 10 of 29 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)
  • August Heat (Commissario Montalbano #10)
  • The Wings of the Sphinx (Inspector Montalbano, #11)

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