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Publisher's Summary

When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator, and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily's coast, only Inspector Montalbano, with his keen insight into human nature, suspects the link between the two incidents. His investigation leads to the beautiful Karima, an impoverished housecleaner and occasional prostitute, whose young son steals other schoolchildren's midmorning snacks. But Karima disappears, and the young snack thief's life, as well as Montalbano's, is endangered when the inspector exposes a viper's nest of government corruption and international intrigue.

Translated by Stephen Sartarelli.

Solve another mystery with Inspector Montalbano.
©1996 by Andrea Camilleri, translation 2003 Stephen Sartarelli (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Montalbano, blessedly, is as bitingly humorous as ever." (Kirkus Reviews) "Full of memorable characters and witty takes on Italian life...Camilleri's latest proves why he is such a big hit in Europe....Highly recommended." (Library Journal) "Camilleri displays all the storytelling skills that have made him an international best-seller....Montalbano, despite his curmudgeonly exterior, has a depth to him that charms. Readers are sure to savor this engrossing, Mafia-free Sicilian mystery." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Sherri
  • Minnetonka, MN, United States
  • 05-05-12

A Snack Thief??

I really love these quirky little books by Andrea Camilleri. His protagonist, Salvo Montobano (forgive spelling, I have onlly listened to his books) is the kind of funny, flawed character I love. Then he surrounds Salvo with a cast of hilarious characters, some of whom he loves and some of whom he hates.

The exceptional narrator, Grover Gardner, really makes these books with his reading. He actually acts them out, including the normal little pauses, sighs, gasps, etc. of a real conversation. Don't expect italian accets, however, the only character who gets that treatment is Salvo's long-suffering housekeeper.

I started with this book, because the title intrigued me, but I quickly listened to all in the series and now wait with baited breath for the next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pretty good series

Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano isn't my absolute fave Italian (well, he's Sicilian) cop series --I prefer David Hewson's Nic Costa (who, yay! has a new one out). However, the books are good enough I keep coming back. Part has to do w/Grover Gardner's narrations; I think he's the best reader there is. Montalbano is billed as having a dry sense of humor, but sometimes he just comes off as a jerk --maybe it's the translation? Still, they're worth listening to. *sorta spoiler alert* He gained some depth in this one by finally taking his rather inexplicable relationship with Olivia a bit further....tho not til the end of the book, & we don't see how things work out.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A wonderful read

An intricate story weaving together a complex set of events with story lines dealing with the protagonists personal life and business relationships. This it holds the readers interest while providing a rich reading experience

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unreadable

Between the narrator, the plot, and the foul language, this was unbearable. I couldn't get past the first hour.

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Foul Language Spoils Books for Me

What disappointed you about The Snack Thief?

too many "fucks" on the very first track

Any additional comments?

I love mysteries and heard about this author but the first book has turned me off; one can write a good mystery tale without using foul language.

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  • Abigail
  • arlington, VA, United States
  • 10-01-12

I just cant handle the Narrators bad voices

Dont get me wrong, I could see how this could be a good narrator in other situations but these books take place in italy. This narrator does voices that sound more like Steve Buscemi. I feel like im listening to an american gangster film. He also reads very quickly (like hes rushing to be done not just that he reads fast) and puts no pause between different characters speaking, and it makes them blend together.

I should have listened to the sample more. Its my fault but it really gets irritating. Ill be more careful next time. I recommend the Donna Leon mysteries for someone wanting a listen with a more Italian feel, that narrator isn't perfect (who is) but you can at least get lost in the story and he gives a real warmth to the characters. You get very attached to the characters as he reads them and dont miss a word because he reads clearly.

This Andrea Camilleri series is lovely and I only wish I could stand listening to them.

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Colorful characters brilliantly portrayed

What did you love best about The Snack Thief?

The intricacy of the story and the development of the characters. The players are human, vulnerable, funny.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Inspector Montalbano is tough and gruff and sensitive. How can you ask for anything more in the main character. He has great friends and colleagues who take him for what he is.

Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

Cat.. - the guy who answers the phone at the station. He is, of course, a bit of a caricature, but is done so well by the reader.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This books took me from laughter to tears. The story is so human, which makes it both touching and pathetic at different times. I'm continuing reading the series.

  • Overall

I wanted to like it more than I did

I love Sicily (and Sicilian food) and detective stories. For the food, this is a great book; for Sicily as a place, eh, not really (I felt no real flavor of Sicilian towns here--especially the ones I've been to and loved); for the Sicilians, fun and real (as one would expect). The main character's somewhat unattractive personality is well done and engaging. The narration was OK, but could have used longer pauses for changes of scene and speaker and more varied voice inflections for changes of character. The plot was also OK, only OK. Reading a new author often leads me to get a second book by the same author. I think one was enough here.