Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
(Translated by Stephen Sartarelli)

Genre: Mystery
Series: #2 in the Inspector Montalbano Series
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2007 by Blackstone (Book originally published 1996)
Length: 7 hours, 29 minutes
Read by: Grover Gardner
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Sicilian police inspector Montalbano stumbles across an old crime scene and is determined to find out what happened.

Why I Read It:
Last year The Hubster and I listened to the first book in this series when we were on vacation so we decided this year’s trip to the coast was a perfect time to listen to the second book.

The Book:
There’s a lot going on in this book so it’s difficult for me to summarize which is why I’m going to use the publisher’s synopsis.

From the publisher:

Inspector Montalbano’s latest case begins with a mysterious tête à tête 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 this old crime takes him on a journey through Sicily’s past and into a family’s dark heart amidst the horrors of World War II bombardment.

Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic take on Sicilian life. With sly wit and a keen understanding of human nature, Montalbano is a detective whose earthiness, compassion, and imagination make him totally irresistible.

My Thoughts:
This is a complex story with multiple crimes to be solved. The setting makes for plenty of political intrigue both within the law enforcement side and the criminal side of the story

Inspector Montalbano is a great character. I enjoy his mix of dedication to his job and dedication to enjoying his life. He’s both grumpy and funny at the same time. As with the first book there is a large cast of characters. Both the good guys and the bad guys are entertaining and on occasion downright odd. The story was intriguing and with plenty of moments that made us laugh along the way.

I thoroughly enjoy Grover Gardner’s narration of this series. His manages to hit just the right mix of wry humor while maintaining the tension of the mystery and action scenes. His narration makes this a series that I want to continue in audio format rather than print.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.