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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not aired in UK yet
Not aired in UK yet