Arrivederci Montalbano- thoughts on Riccardino

This is not a book review but just my personal thoughts of Riccardino -the last novel of the Inspector Montalbano series. The crime stories, written by Andrea Camilleri, are set in Sicily and famous across the world. I read Riccardino during the pandemic in 2020 and I can honestly say I don’t recall much of it. While the horrors of the pandemic will never cease to affect us, I want to let go of the sub standard experience of my reading at least. So let me safely assume that I truly read Riccardino in 2024!

Arrivederci Montalbano- thoughts on Riccardino

Riccardino is not my favorite Montalbano book, not because it is the last one in the series but because there are better written ones.

What I didn’t like

The usual murder in Vigàta with interlinked plots and storylines makes it a testament to the late author’s style of writing. While the novel is full of interesting Sicilian persone and delectable dishes, it also comes with its fair share of names that are not very easy to remember. In fact I often find myself turning pages to remember character names.

Maybe you’re better at it??

And I found Riccardino to be also a bit repetitive and often confusing. Riccardino was written when the author was in his 80s. It does not have the racy brilliant mystery setup that you would expect like his earlier novels.

What I liked

That being said, it is written in a metafiction style (no spoilers zone) and is blatantly clear that the author wrote this book for the readers- the fans, YOU & I.

My guess is that the Author really wanted his readers to savor this one and give a bittersweet goodbye to Salvo (Inspector Montalbano!).

The acclaimed novel is the last of his legacy and is an outpouring of gratitude to the Sicilian characters that he created. Riccardino is for lovers of Sicily who increased the tourism of the region, thanks to these books and the TV series that followed.

Riccardino is the final goodbye from the author (and from Montalbá himself!)

Addio Salvo

I was thinking of three people as I held the book in my hands- Salvo– the “real one”, Salvo– the TV character played brilliantly by Luca Zingaretti and the Author himself. The story leaves you mystified, puzzled and impressed at the same time because I am essentially talking of the same person 😉

And I’m guessing that if you’re reading Riccardino you would be familiar with some of Camilleri’s work otherwise why would you pick the last book of the series?!

So my final words for this book is to read without much expectation. Trust me when I say this because you’ll still be bowled over by the ending. But I guess now it really is time to say goodbye to Montalbano.

Arrivederci Montalbano……!! 🙁

Further Reading

I am grateful to have come across Camilleri and to have explored his meticulous, witty and charming style of writing. 28 novels later, I am still a huge fan and will always remain so. You should check this post where I share my experience of visiting the shooting locations of the Montalbano TV show!

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