Inspector Montalbano is an Italian police detective television series produced and broadcast by RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) totalling 14 series comprising of 36 (100 minute approx) episodes. Due to the episode length just several, sometimes two have been made for each series each year. For this reason I’ve numbered the episodes here simply 1 – 36.

The series is taken from the books of Italian writer Andrea Camilleri (1925 – 2019). He was born in Sicily and that’s also where the series is set, but in the fictitious town of Vigata. There is always a distinct flavour of Sicilian life throughout the series. He started out doing stage work, then radio and finally In 1978 he wrote his first novel Forma dell’acqua, which appears in the first TV series as episode 3, ‘the shape of water’.

All TV episodes were written by Andrea Camilleri with main co-writter Francesco Bruni and directed by Alberto Sironi. This team stayed together for the hit spin-off series The Young Montelbano so far having completed 2 series and 12 episodes between 2012 – 2015.

The main character Salvo Montalbano played by Luca Zingaretti, has also completed all episodes, and the series is still ongoing. His co-actors however have been played by various actors. His wife Livia has seen three actresses, two of which were not Italian and couldn’t speak Italian well enough and were dubbed.

It was no easy feat for the young Montelbano played by actor Michele Riondino to live up to the great inspector and follow in Luca Zingaretti’s footsteps, but he filled those big shoes splendidly. The new series starts with Salvo arriving in Vigata as a new Inspector. It’s interesting to see how he formed the relationships with Deputy Chief Mimi Augello and Fazio his loyal assistant.

Ep 1

6 May 1999, 105m – The Snack Thief

The series starts with Inspector Montelbano having a morning swim in the sea in front of his house in Vigata. He arrives at the station in a bad mood, shouting at everyone. A businessman called Lapecora is found in a lift with a knife in his back and his widow suspects his lover, a Tunisian woman called Karima who has departed Vigata that day.

Montalbano tracks Karima’s young son Francois and suspects the case is linked to a Tunisian man that was also killed on the same day as Lapecora. Montelbano’s partnet Livia looks after the boy and becomes fond of the five year old. Then another Tunisian woman Aisha is killed and Montelbano

Ep 2

13 May 1999, 105m – The Voice of the Violin

Napping on the way to a funeral outside Vigata, the driver crashes the car near a seemingly abandoned villa. Montelbano returns to the property alone to look around and finds a dead naked woman on a table.

When the case is taken off him, Montelbano suspects a cover up, however he quietly continues the investigation with his team. He connects a priceless violin with the murdered woman and the motive for her death.

Ep 3

2 May 2000, 112m – The Shape of Water

A politician Mr Luparello is found dead in a compromising position with a suspected heart attack. Montalbano suspects things are not as they seem and starts digging, looking at the dead man’s political and religious side and investigating a necklace found at the scene.

Ep 4

9 May 2000, 102m – The Terracotta Dog

A mafia boss informs Montelbano about a stach of arms in a cave just outside of Vigata. The cave is also the tomb of a young couple and what appears to be a crime from the end of World War II. First he must confront the mafia.

The bodies appear to have been placed in the cave with some sort of ritual, coins in a dish, and a terracotta dog placed besides them before the chamber was sealed. Montelbano sets out to discover how they died and who ceremonialy entombed them.

Ep 5

9 May 2001, 115m – A Trip to Tindari

Ep 6

16 May 2001, 96m – The Artist’s Touch

Ep 7

28 Oct 2002, 104m – The Sense of Touch

Ep 8

4 Nov 2002, 93m – Rice Croquettes

Ep 9

11 Nov 2002, 109m – The Scent of Night

Ep 10

18 Nov 2002, 95m – The Cat and the Goldfinch

Ep 11

22 Sep 2005, 97m – Turning Point

Ep 12

29 Sep 2005, 96m – Equal Time

Ep 13

7 Mar 2006, 106m – The Patience of the Spider

Ep 14

136 Mar 2006, 99m – The Game of Three Cards

Ep 15

2 Nov 2008, 107m – August Flame

Ep 16

3 Nov 2008, 110m – The Wings of the Sphynx

Ep 17

10 Nov 2008, 100m – The Track of Sand

Ep 18

17 Nov 2008, 109m – Paper Moon

Ep 19

14 Mar 109m – The Potter’s Field

Ep 20

21 Mar 2011, 105m – The Gull’s Dance

Ep 21

28 Mar 2011, 99m – Treasure Hunt

Ep 22

4 Apr 2011, 103m – The Age of Doubt

Ep 23

19 Oct 2013, 112m – Angelica’s Smile

Ep 24

26 Oct 2013, 113m – Hall of Mirrors

Ep 25

2 Nov 2013, 106m – A Voice in the Night

Ep 26

9 Nov 2013, 106m – A Ray of Light

Ep 27

29 Feb 2016, 117m – A Delicate Matter

Ep 28

7 Mar 2016, 105m – The Mud Pyramid

Ep 29

27 Feb 2017, 120m – A Nest of Vipers

Ep 30

6 Mar 2017, 113m – As Per Procedure

Ep 31

12 Feb 2018, 111m – Carousel

Ep 32

19 Feb 2018, 108m – Love

A notorious beautiful girl disappears shortly after having been seen returning to Vigata. She worked as a prostitute but appears to have been financially secure of late due to a fortunate liaison with one of her clients.

Montelbano visits her family to find a distraught father and sister and a not so sympathetic mother, disgusted at her way of life. The sister tells Montelbano that her sister had recently fallen in love.

Ep 33

11 Feb 2019, 104m – The Other End of the Thread

Ep 34

18 Feb 2019, 111m – Title

When an old man is shot in his home Montelbalbano connects it somehow to the discovery of a hidden diary from 1943 which Mimi has passed to him, concerned about the contents which would suggest a crime had been committed many years ago.

Livia too takes an interest in the diary, and a 90 year old man returned to Sicily and offering insight to teh contents of the diary. In the background, Vigata is celebrating the fiesta of St George’s Day.

Ep 35

9 Mar 2020, 105m – My Livia

Not aired in UK yet

Ep 36

16 Mar 2020, – The Safety Net

Not aired in UK yet

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