originally published as La caccia al tesoro, 2010
translated by (who else!) Stephen Sartarelli
"... it wasn't a fiction, but a reality, though a reality so absurd as to be very nearly a fiction."
My first love in reading is crime fiction, something I've loved since I was really young. Not just the run of the mill stuff -- I have an ongoing love affair with international crime which honestly, with the exception of real domestic noir (a la Cornell Woolrich or Jim Thompson), is head and shoulders above any other. For me mystery series come and they go; sometimes I might try one or two before I beg off and move on looking for something better than the last -- but Camilleri's Montalbano novels are among my favorite books in my gigantic crime fiction library. It's not so much because of their "whodunit" quality or for the crimes contained between their covers, but because of the people who populate these books. I've been with Montalbano and his crew since the beginning, so by now, in my head, they've become sort of like old friends. Treasure Hunt marks the 16th installment of this fantastic series, and while it's not my favorite of the bunch, it's still quite good, filled with all of the familiar components that make these novels consistently unique and a pleasure to read.
When I opened this book yesterday afternoon, I knew that everything else on the planet would just have to wait because it was going to be my best friend for the next few hours. I even got up at 4:30 this morning to finish it because I wanted absolutely no noise, no interruptions, no nothing to come between me and the latest exploits of Inspector Salvo Montalbano. You can read about them here, on the crime page -- but by no means let this be your intro to the series.