Camilleri"s Inspector Montalbano series, making a belated first appearance in the U.S., has long been a staple of both Italian and German best-seller lists. It"s easy to see why: Camilleri captures that special blend of lethargy, cynicism, and reluctant commitment that drives the best fictional Italian cops (e.g., Michael Dibdin"s Aurelio Zen). Salvo Montalbano, police inspector in the small Sicilian town of Vigata, has a potentially explosive case on his plate: a local politician has been found dead in his car, apparently the victim of a heart attack. The position of the politician"s pants (around his ankles) and the location of the car (parked in an abandoned field where prostitutes ply their trade) suggest that the victim may have died in flagrante delicto. Higher-ups want the embarrassing case closed quickly, but Montalbano smells a setup. Unlike many European cops dealing with the horrors of modernity, Montalbano is no melancholic brooder; rather, he puts a comic face on the noir world, sorting through multiple layers of corruption Sicilian style while still finding time to enjoy a good lunch. Keep the translations coming--and quickly.