Andrea Camilleri created the Inspector Montalbano (Il Commissario Montalbano) series of crime novels centered on his alter ego- Montalbano. He wrote over 100 books in Italian of which 28 Inspector Montalbano novels have now been translated in English. Here’s a list of all of the Inspector Montalbano books in order.
Inspector Montalbano Books in Order:
1. The Shape of Water (Original: La forma dell’aqua)
Chronological reading will make you understand the characters, plot lines and humor even better. The Shape of Water is the first book in the Montalbano series which I highly recommend starting from if you’re new to the Camilleri mysteries.
2. The Terracotta Dog (Original: Il cane di Terracotta)
I absolutely adored The Terracotta Dog which showcases a mystery from the time of World War II. This is a poignant story that was incidentally adapted as the first episode for the TV series (more below).
3. The Snack Thief (Original: Il ladro di Merendine)
Probably one of the most emotional plot lines discussing Montalbano and his lover Livia, The Snack Thief delves into their complex relationship. This is more than just a mystery because it also shows about the decisions couples have to take.
4. The Voice of the Violin (Original: La voce del Violino)
An extremely complicated plot, The Voice of the Violin ticks all the important points of a whodunit. It is a gruesome story but also one that will make you cry.
5. Excursion to Tindari (Original: Gita a Tindari)
Bureaucracy, Mafia, Corruption all entwined with love stories and death. What more would you want?? Excursion to Tindari will give you itchy feet for Sicily.
6. The Scent of the Night (Original: L’odore della note)
This is an excellent story of a financial scammer. Read The Scent of the Night with tons of patience and then watch the TV episode of the same name.
7. Rounding the Mark (Original: Il giro di Boa)
Imagine swimming and finding a corpse next to you!! Rounding the Mark is a well plotted book by Andrea Camilleri with an equally engaging translation that shouldn’t be missed.
8. The Patience of the Spider (Original: La pazienza del ragno)
A sumptuous read filled with great observations, The Patience of the Spider is quite intriguing because of the title. The author makes vibrant characters from Vigata come alive.
9. The Paper Moon (Original: La luna di carta)
Two mysterious women and their plot to confuse Inspector Montalbano, Paper Moon is one where Montalbano is conufsed but in the end he gets the better of them, as always!
Pingback: This BBC Documentary on Andrea Camilleri makes me teary eyed
10. August Heat (Original: La vampa d’agosto)
One of the most shocking tales in the Camilleri series, the August Heat is the 10th book. It makes you extremely emotional about Montalbano and Livia together in Sicily in August. Why August?? Because it is a time of holiday in all of Italy but here is Montalbano solving a sinister murder tale!
Did you know Andrea Camilleri was one of the greatest writers of the 21st Century whose popularity explodes by the minute. In fact he may as well be called the Sherlock Holmes of Italy!
11. The Wings of the Sphinx (Original: Le ali della sfinge)
Another intriguing book from the series, The Wings of Sphinx is partly about relationships and partly about the underworld. Camilleri makes sure to keep his readers hooked till the very end!
12. The Track of Sand (Original: La pista di sabbia)
In the Track of Sand there’s humor, beauty and delicious Sicilian food. There’s also a lot of animal abuse, so read it with a strong heart!
13. The Potter’s Field (Original: Il campo del vasaio)
The Potter’s Field is an extremely clever read. Having won the Crime Writer’s Association International Dagger Award, The Potter’s Field is probably one of my favorite Camilleri books. The author cleverly links the Potter’s field in the Gospel of Matthew.
14. The Age of Doubt (Original: L’età del dubbio)
Another fabulous read, The Age of Doubt shows Montalbano grappling with age but uncovering a smuggling crime on the side!
15. The Dance of the Seagull (Original: La danza del gabbiano)
Disappearance of corpses and policemen, this is another exciting mystery that is a favorite of Camilleri fans!
16. Treasure Hunt (Original: La caccia al Tesoro)
This is not my favorite read because it was predictable and transparent but still there looms a disturbing death in Sicily. That too of a brother sister!
17. Angelica’s Smile (Original: Il sorriso di Angelica)
Camilleri’s obsession with Literature is evident in this book again because Angelica was the Princess in the Italian poem “Orlando Furiosio”. In the book Montalbano is shown to be obsessed about her during his childhood. And the problem starts when the victim reminds him of Angelica!
18. Game of Mirrors (Original: Il Gioco degli Specchi)
Anonymous letters, a house of mirrors, salivating food… that’s Game of Mirrors. A well-researched plot by Camilleri.
19. A Beam of Light (Original: Una lama di Luce)
A clever mystery with tons of conspiracies and twists, in A Beam of Light Montalbano falling head over heels for another woman! However the story also takes one of the saddest turns.
20. A Voice in the Night (Original: Una voce di Notte)
A Voice in the Night is a murder termed as a suicide which eventually leaves Montalbano stunned. It is the 20th installment of the Montalbano series of books and a fun read because Montalbano turns 58!
21. A Nest of Vipers (Original: Un Covo di Vipere)
The story of the deceased womanizer and a muddled whodunit, A Nesp of Vipers is not my favorite but a good read!
22. The Pyramid of Mud (Original: La Piramide di Fango)
The Pyramid of Mud is another Mafia story with a very complex crime. It includes admirable storytelling backed by the faithful team of Montalbano!
23. The Overnight Kidnapper (Original: La Giostra degli Scambi)
Another of Camilleri’s stories that have interlinking plotlines, The Overnight Kidnapper will leave you wanting for more! No Spoilers!
24. The Other End of the Line (Original: L’altro capo del file)
The Other End of the Line discusses the European Immigrant crisis and a plot line that leaves Montalbano stumped. It is filled with vivid descriptions and delicious food and of course Montalbano defeats bureaucracy in this book, again!
25. The Safety Net (Original: La rete di protezione)
The Safety Net is definitely not a favorite because it lacks lucidity. What I did love was the delicious platters and an International addition to the story!!
26. The Sicilian Method (Original: Il Metodo Catalanotti)
A very clever novel and probably my favorite after The Potter’s Field, this book explores crime and theatre together.
27. The Cook of the Halcyon (Original: Il cuoco dell’Alcyon)
28. Riccardino (Original: Riccardino)
I’m currently reading the final of the Montalbano series with a lot of nostalgia. Hope to update soon!
The Popularity of Inspector Montalbano
Andrea Camilleri’s books are not only popular in Italy but also worldwide, especially in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Picturesque backdrops, lavish food, gorgeous women, wry humor and excellent writing are some of the reasons why the Montalbano series of books are loved so much!!
In 1999, the Italian broadcasting company RAI, released the TV show “Il Commissario Montalbano”. The show lasted 15 seasons and it’s last episode aired on March 8, 2021. With an exceptional cast of Luca Zingaretti, Cesare Bocci, Angelo Russo and Peppino Mazzotta, Inspector Montalbano was a rage in Italy. To know more about the cast watch this episode of Che Tempo Che Fa!
The epsidoes were extensively shot in South Eastern Sicily in the original Italian + Sicilian dialect. For the global audience, the show is also available with English subtitles.
In 2012, RAI also produced another TV Series called “Il Giovane Montalbano” (The Young Montalbano) which is a prequel to the Inspector Montalbano TV Show. I am faithful to the older Montalbano but when I saw the first season of Young Montalbano and got completely hooked. It is equally outstanding!
Where can you watch Inspector Montalbano??
In the United Kingdom, Inspector Montalbano is broadcasted on BBCFour. Similarly in United and Australia, it is available on MhZ and SBS, respectively. In India, Daily Motion is a good option to watch this series. I also highly recommend buying the DVDs of the Inspector Montalbano to enjoy Sicily from home!
More books in English
Apart from the 27 Montalbano books translated in English, there are other books translated in English:
Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories
Furthermore, in 2019, a TV film called “C’era una volta a Vigata` was released. It is based on Camilleri’s book “The Hunting Season”.
Montalbano Tour of Sicily
I started reading the Inspector Montalbano series of books in 2015. I also watched the show and eventually explored Sicily to do my own version of a Montalbano Tour! So in 2016, with the intention of visiting the shooting locations of the TV show, I visited the towns of Modica, Ragusa, Scicli and Punta Secca. Furthermore, I also saw Montalbano’s House in Punta Secca (in the books the house is in the fictional town of Montelusa). I was unfortunately unable to meet anyone from the cast as there was filming going on.
Have you read the Inspector Montalbano series?? Share in the comments!
The Inspector sat down on a stair, fired up a cigarette, and entered an immobility contest with a lizard.Andrea camilleri
- Books that give an itch to visit South Italy
- 103 Other Adventures In and Around Rome – a must read for Italophiles
- Book Review: South of Somewhere by Robert Camuto
- Women in Translation- 3 Italian Authors You Must Read
- Midnight in the Piazza- an art mystery set in Rome
Andrea Camilleri passed away on July 17, 2019 but his legacy lives on!
The Historical Ambience of L'Orangerie, Modica – ItalophiliaSeptember 20, 2021 at 10:11 am
[…] L’Orangerie is a great place to stay in Modica and deserves attention because it has so much to offer. Furthermore, if you are a book lover, this place is perfect for you because the TV show “Commissario Montalbano” is shot here, especially around Duomo di San Pietro of Modica. To know more about the books click here. […]
5 Honest Books about Living in Italy – ItalophiliaJanuary 4, 2021 at 10:25 am
[…] Pingback: Inspector Montalbano books in chronological order! […]
Best Travel Books on Sicily – ItalophiliaDecember 2, 2020 at 1:19 pm
[…] Pingback: Have you read the Inspector Montalbano series of books?? Check them here! […]
5 Books on Italian Crime Fiction – ItalophiliaAugust 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm
[…] Commissario Montalbano books- crime fiction set in Sicily […]
An Ode to Sicily's Andrea Camilleri – ItalophiliaJune 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm
[…] To know more about the English version of Camilleri’s books read this post. […]
Ten Favorite Books on Italy – ItalophiliaJune 10, 2020 at 7:41 pm
[…] Read the Chronological List of Andrea Camilleri Books […]
Favorite TV Shows Based in Italy – ItalophiliaJune 9, 2020 at 2:25 pm
[…] Further Reading: A Chronological Listing of Andrea Camilleri’s Books […]
10 Charming Small Towns in Italy – ItalophiliaJune 6, 2020 at 10:57 pm
[…] Located in Sicily Modica is old and forlorn. The locals are usually home by 8 p.m. so it’s fun to wander the streets by yourself. Furthermore, it is one of the shooting locations of the famous TV series “Inspector Montalbano” based on the books by Andrea Camilleri. […]
What to Eat in Sicily Under €5 – ItalophiliaJune 4, 2020 at 6:52 pm
[…] Inspector Montalbano Books based in Sicily […]
Un po' di pepeApril 27, 2020 at 6:37 am
i wish i had this list in August when i was at Napoli airport trying to figure out which were the first 2 books. The staff helped me figure out it was La Forma dell’acqua and Il Cane di Terracotta. They are next on my reading pile, but the weather has been nice, so gardening and outdoor cleanup have taken precedence. I have seen random episodes of the TV show on RAI at my parents’ place and love it. When i’m ready for the next books, now i’ll know. Ciao and stay safe, Cristina
ItalophiliaApril 27, 2020 at 9:45 am
Ciao Cristina. So glad to see you here!! Oh thankfully the staff guided you well. Waiting for you to read them. Happy cooking!! <3
Un po' di pepeApril 27, 2020 at 11:36 am
Grazie! I actually read this post last week and tried to comment-but it wouldn’t work. My new computer and I are not bonding. Mannaggia! Ciao, Cristina
ItalophiliaApril 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm
Haha!! Technical problems keep arising, glad you could now!
Robert RuenitzApril 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Thanks for the recommendation of this series. It was just the kind of mystery I was looking for: Based in the Mediterranean, Funny, cultural, thought provoking. The days pass quicker at home now in Malaga. Cheers.
ItalophiliaApril 23, 2020 at 8:08 pm
Hi Robert! So glad I could help you 🙂 Happy to know the books have made your days smaller. I think this is a very difficult time for the world, we should do whatever we need to distract. Stay safe!
ParveenApril 21, 2020 at 5:40 pm
ItalophiliaApril 22, 2020 at 7:49 pm
karenincalabriaApril 16, 2020 at 11:26 pm
I’ve seen all the TV shows – love Luca Zingaretti and many others in the cast. I have to say that I started reading one of the books in an English translation many years ago and wasn’t crazy about it. I sort of wonder if there are different translations. I found what I read bothersome as it had Monalbano’s maid, who would have been speaking in a local dialect, talking like an uneducated New York gangster. I couldn’t reconcile it. Perhaps there are better translations out now.
As for the Young Montalbano, I was wary before I started watching it, but ended up liking it. Funny that they gave him such a big head of hair!
ItalophiliaApril 16, 2020 at 11:48 pm
Ciao Karen! Hope you’re safe at home. Maybe because you read the original first? I don’t know but when I started reading the English translations I didn’t know Italian at all. So I always enjoyed everything from Adelina to Catarella! I too was wary about Young Montalbano but a friend suggested me to go on 😉 Very different styles. I often wonder why they didn’t show Montalbano as a smoker in the show. Would have been so real!
karenincalabriaApril 17, 2020 at 4:08 am
I haven’t ever read the books in Italian. I had the early initial attempt at one of the books in English and I discarded it, so I identify with Zingaretti as the Montalbano personality and I am so glad he doesn’t smoke!
ItalophiliaApril 17, 2020 at 1:56 pm
If you read the books you’d understand why I mentioned that. But all in all he is the best Montalbano!!
sherylmcdougaldApril 16, 2020 at 7:59 pm
Excellent list, Ishita – Thanks!! I have seen the first 2 of the TV series, and was hooked! Looks like I will be having quite a lot of reading time (we are on “Stay at home” advisory here in British Columbia and though not as bad as poor, poor Italy we are nowhere out of this yet. The new normal will come back some day, and when it does, my first destination will be Florence, then Puglia. Big ❤️🍷to you and ☕️ too.
ItalophiliaApril 16, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Thank you dear Sheryl! So nice to see you on Italophilia! Here we are on lockdown too, hope you enjoy reading the books. Until then let’s dream of Puglia and Florence 😉 Stay safe!