Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories

The Inspector Montalbano, Book 0.5
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Series: Inspector Montalbano, Book 0.5
Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best-selling Inspector Montalbano mystery series come 21 short stories spanning the beloved detective's career.

Inspector Montalbano has charmed readers and listeners in 19 popular novels. In Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories, Andrea Camilleri has selected 21 short stories, written with his trademark wit and humor, that follow Italy's famous detective through highlight cases of his career. From the title story, featuring a young Deputy Montalbano newly assigned to Vigàta, to "Montalbano Says No", in which the inspector makes a late-night call to Camilleri himself to refuse an outlandish case, this volume is an essential addition to any fan's collection and a wonderful way to introduce listeners to the internationally best-selling series.

©1998, 1999, 2002, 2008 Mondadori Libri SpA, Milano. Translation © 2016 by Stephen Sartarelli (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

THIS BOOK NEEDS TO BE LISTENED TO FIRST!!!

I listened to three books before I realized I should have started with this book. This books tells you who Salvo Montalbano is, where he lived when he first started as an inspector and how he got to Vigata. How he found his present house he lives in by the water, his house keeper/cook. How he met Livia his love, how he loves great cuisine. He seeks out the best food even in some of the smallest places. Montalbano savors his food. You have to listen to this book. Short, sweet and gives you great insight to the rest of the Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri.

13 people found this helpful

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A great read

Would you listen to Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories again? Why?

Yes Indeed!!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot is pleasantly winds around like a road w/lots of hairpin curves.

What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Unlike, the previous comments about Mr.Gardner's narration, I enjoyed it. I love the way Mr.Gardner interprets and sets up the scenes. I have no problem w/the accent....that is very minor....the important thing is does he conveys the story? He does!!!! He is a great narrator. have enjoyed all of the books that he had narrated.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the confession of Rosa

Any additional comments?

This is a great find for me, quite by accident too! I was looking for Guillermo Del Toro's Shape of Water, and came up with this book. What a great find!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Not Just Good Mysteries; Good Stories

There is something so natural and easy about these stories—and about the other Montalbano collection I’m familiar with, Death at Sea—that they must have involved far more labor on the part of their author than their style and tone suggest. There’s a touch of Elmore Leonard’s hard-earned effortlessness here; or it may be the other way around. All I know is, unlike some other mysteries I’ve listened to, I didn’t find myself anxiously docketing clues and suspects, times when and motives for. In their easy-going southern Italian way, these stories simply happen. Per Camilerri's comments in his introduction, I enjoyed them first and foremost as stories about people and places. The crime was an added attraction.

Grover Gardener again hands in his usual superb performance. Some have caviled at his assignment of accents, but somehow that doesn’t bother me. As with his performances of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer novels, his matter-of-fact tone is the perfect vehicle for these simple, subtle stories.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator made story too boring to enjoy

I could not get past the 2nd chapter and I quit listening to it. Then a couple months later I tried again and it was even more painful to listen to then the first time I tried. The narrator doesn't have much variation in his character voices so sometimes it's hard to follow who is talking, but most of all his voice is very monotone and I had to stop listening. I wish I never purchased this book.

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Disappointing

This book runs the gamut from quaint to bizarre to offensive. The stories, which appear to be set in the 1950s, often play off of 1950s stereotypes, especially about women, which are compounded by the performer's approach to accents (e.g., a stereotypical Italian accent for characters who are seen as not being very bright). Montalbano's approach to solving crimes, which purports to be clue-based but is actually intuitive, undercuts what seems to be the intended theme, which is that Montalbano is a really good detective. In a number of stories, he plays a fairly wild hunch, which remarkably turns out to be true. It feels that, too often, the author fails to do the kind of clue-planting that allows a detective book to truly work for the reader.

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Short Stories with an Italian Flair!

Not a literary marvel nor a book you can’t stop listening to because of the high drama. But still a good listen.

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How could you not love Inspector Montalbano?

How could you not like Inspector Salvo Montalbano? With his wit, brains, reserve, flaws, impatience, guile and love of eating, he personifies seaside Sicily in all its beauty and imperfections. This collection of short stories brings to life Montalbano’s contacts with collection of characters that include the criminals, victims, friends, acquaintances and fellow police officers who give a delightful account of Camilleri’s Sicilian world. How could one not laugh when, in the midst of one story, Montalbano calls Camilleri to chastise him on the foolishness of the plot? The longer stories are the best, including the Montalbano’s first case. The excellent lyrical translation by Stephen Satarelli is a wonder. He is able to give us context with some excellent English expressions such as sticky wicket, chickened out and the three little pigs. There are some themes that do seem to occur too often. There are three stories in a row with suicides and later one attempted suicide and anther successful one. Some of the stories are so short that one yearns for context or perhaps a better description of the characters. And the Inspector does seem to have way too many chance encounters, many at night or very early in the day, with people who end up becoming the recent murderer of some acquaintance. But these are minor quibbles. This book is infinitely entertaining.

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very entertaining stories

loved the characters and the tales of human predicaments that require the inspectors attention. very funny. I often found myself laughing.

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  • KT
  • 06-27-18

Another gem

Another gem from Andrea Camilleri with the usual excellent narration from Grover Gardner. I was sad when it ended.

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Well worth listening to.

A very interesting assortment of short stories, with multiple themes. If you like Montalbano, don't miss it!