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The Terra-Cotta Dog (Commissario Montalbano #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,664 Ratings  ·  453 Reviews
The Terra-Cotta Dog opens with a mysterious tete-a-tete with a mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and some dying words that lead inspector Montalbano to a secret grotto in a mountainous cave where two young lovers, dead fifty years and still embracing, are watched over by a life-size terra cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old c ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 1996)
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Rachel Hall
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Terracotta Dog is the second outing for the fractious Inspector Salvo Montalbano and his team based in Vigàta, Sicily and despite this being only my third read from the series I already feel that I am reaping the benefits of a growing familiarity with the characters and the ‘flexible’ justice system that Camilleri recounts. I certainly feel that already my understanding of Montalbano’s criminal network of contacts, his colleagues, his culinary persuasions and indeed his tempestuous relations ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi fu regalato a Natale del 1998. Non lo lessi, allora. Poi venne la moda (ragione in più). Poi gli sceneggiati TV. Poi è diventato un classico, e il commissario Montalbano quasi uno di famiglia. Ma lo scrittore no. I motivi del suo successo li conoscevo per sentito dire, li davo per scontati. Finché un'amica francese, che parla e legge correntemente l'italiano, non s'è incuriosita agli aspetti dialettali. In Francia la serie TV è doppiata, ovviamente, e Montalbano parla un fluente parigino. Che ...more
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
Un Camilleri in stato di grazia, ci regala la seconda indagine del celebre commissario Montalbano il quale, stavolta, si troverà ad indagare su un doppio omicidio avvenuto ben cinquant'anni fa, al tempo della seconda guerra mondiale (la storia è ambientata nell'anno 1996 se non erro). Che dire, Dopo aver divorato piacevolmente La forma dell'acqua ed esserne rimasto molto soddisfatto, la seconda avventura del Commissario è davvero ben scritta, non ti fermi fino a quando non scopri tutta la verità ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
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
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El conjunto bien. De heco me declaro seguidor del inspector Montalbano.

Eso sí, me ha gustado más el primero. En este segundo los personajes eran menos atractivos -salvo Montalbano, claro-que en el primero. La novia, Livia, la meto en clasificación de "pedorra" hasta que se demuestre lo contrario. Y el resto o desdibujados o sin atractivo.

Y la histoira me ha descolocado. La trama principal, sobre mafia, queda rapidamente apartada y casi ni resuelta en favor del perro de terracota y su entorno (no
M.J. Johnson
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read about Inspector Salvo Montalbano. I found both thoroughly enjoyable - amusing, quirky, and very nicely written. A great series for those moments when you need something to read that isn't too taxing but is still quality writing.

I thought the denouement was a teensy bit contrived on this one, but hey - it was still fun, and it's great to read about Sicily, especially when it has a policeman hero who fantasises about food! Definitely plan to read the others. By th
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is my second Andrea Camilleri novel. They are quick and easy reads. I did the audio on this one and the narrator's voice was fun to listen to at double speed. How could I not like that and the MC? I liked this story. The set up was kind of long before the terra-cotta dog actually made it's appearance. The role of the dog wasn't as significant as the title would lead one to believe, but it was woven in nicely.

What I appreciate the most, is the methodical way the author lays out the plot. Al
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, italian
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...
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Segundo caso del comisario Montalbano, un policía de Sicilia muy temperamental.

Montalbano se enfrenta a tres casos que no tienen relación entre sí, a cada cual más estrambótico: la detención de un capo de la mafia, el robo y posterior devolución de la mercancía de un supermercado y la aparición de dos cadáveres de la II Guerra Mundial. Y los resuelve a su manera, temperamental, intuitiva, emocional.

Volvemos a ver al Montalbano enamorado de la comida italiana, aterrado de las ruedas de prensa, u
Moshe Mikanovsky
3.5 stars. Montalbano stumbles upon a 50 years old case which makes the core of this book. How he gets there is filled with Sicilian mafia, police and local political intrigues, his entangled love life, professional peers who complicate his life, and some strong fears of interviewing. Oh, and almost a daily deaths... Good read though not as enticing as I would hope it to be.
A great masterpiece by Andrea Camilleri. A series to be followed.

4* The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2)
3* Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5)
3* Rounding the Mark (Inspector Montalbano, #7)
4* The Patience of the Spider (Inspector Montalbano, #8)
TR The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1)
TR The Snack Thief (Inspector Montalbano, #3)
TR Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano, #4)
TR Un mese con Montalbano (Inspector Montalbano, #4.5)
TR Gli arancini di Montalbano
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Stacey  D.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Filled with wisecracks and some other ribald details, this was an enjoyable mystery - #2 in the Inspector Montalbano series. Actually, there were two mysteries in play: one that was a contemporary mafioso crime story and the other, a double homicide investigation of young lovers that harked back to the 1940's and WWII. I preferred the latter, as it also contained some little-known cultural and historical references relating to the southwestern part of Sicily, which proved so interesting.

Colette Wolff
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
John Carella
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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...
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Tanuj Solanki
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first experience with epicurean detective Montalbano was a joyride, even though Camilleri couldn't avoid some arbitrary distension here and there. One cannot, however, 'binge' on these books, and it is for this reason that I think that a Montalbano mystery, whole and hearty like a good Italian meal, might be better enjoyed when alternated with a dour Nordic procedural.

Bleak Iceland, say, and then sun-drenched Sicily. Repeat.
David Highton
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
First published in 1996, this story focuses on a crime of more than 50 years earlier in the war, alongside some more contemporary crimes involving the Sicilian mafia. This book is the second in the Montalbano series, and demonstrates what an intriguing, clever and complex character the Inspector is. I look forward to the next story.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Not quite Armand!
Roberta C.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastico come sempre!
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negra
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
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
E.M. Lynley
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery, italy
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
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
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
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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Around the Year i...: The Terra-Cotta Dog, by Andrea Camilleri 1 10 Nov 09, 2016 09:18AM  
  • Ad occhi chiusi
  • The Damned Season
  • Acqua Alta (Commissario Brunetti, #5)
  • Difesa a zona
  • I delitti di via Medina-Sidonia
  • River of Shadows
  • Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen, #7)
  • Morti di carta
  • Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)
  • The Locked Room (Martin Beck, #8)
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 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 memory of the aged becomes clearer and clearer with time. It has no pity.” 9 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
attention from the serious problems and
divert them with a Romeo-and-Juliet
story, one scripted, however, by a soap opera writer.”
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