Camilleri was born in 1925 in Porto Empedocle, in Agrigento Province, in
Sicily. He worked as a script editor, a theater and TV producer,
before taking up writing very late - his first book, Il
Corso delle Cose was not published until 1978.
his first and only meeting with Pirandello sometime between 1932
and 1933 was a portent that no one at the time knew how to interpret:
a friend of the family, was incidentally also one of his mother's
nephews. Nonetheless, young Camilleri, who grew up during the war
years, showed no particular signs of being predestined for a writing
Even when he
published his second book, Un filo di fumo, in
the year 1980, no one would have been so rash as to apostrophize
him as a future best-selling author with several million copies
in print. It took another 15 years to reach that point.
His hour finally
came when he turned away from writing historical novels, to crime
fiction, and with his invention of Detective Montalbano, who lives
in Sicily and solves his cases in the imaginary town of Vigàta
- it was Detective Montalbano who brought commercial success with
is a gourmet above all, he loves seafood in all its variations.
He has a deep-seated aversion to flying and solves his cases using
his instincts and an ability to practically become one with his
surroundings and delve into the murderer's soul.
Its first print
run of 100,000 copies was sold out after just a few days; another
80,000 copies were hastily printed, and it became clear that yet
another 20,000 would have to be printed: all this in just 5 days
- an absolute record even for an Italian author who sometimes has
up to 6 titles in the weekly best-seller lists!
has sold more than 2.5 million books since 1998: excellent business
for him and his Sicilian publisher Elvira Sellerio.
is impervious even to the at times harsh critical reviews of his
new book. One critic writes:
investigates a triple murder. Of course, the happy ending is a given:
Montalbano arrests the murderer, and he even manages to resurrect
the murder victims. In his fifth Montalbano epos, Camilleri proves
once and for all that he is an incompetent crime novelist. The plot
is less than gripping, the characters are all identical, and not
a single surprise is really surprising..."