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Inspector Montalbano Book Order: How to Read Them All

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Are you confused about the order of the 34 Inspector Montalbano books? Yes, I know. The order of Montalbano’s episodes is different from that of the books. Moreover, the lists of books on the internet are wrong. There are 34 books published with Inspector Montalbano’s stories. But don’t worry! This guide, “Inspector Montalbano Books in Order: How to Get & Read Them All,” provides the reading order to fully enjoy Andrea Camilleri’s series and immerse yourself in the captivating world of detective Salvo Montalbano. Find out the book’s title in English and Italian, which is helpful to get the books in your country. In this article, I include tips explaining how to find out in stores, get them, and read the 34 Inspector Montalbano’s book series in order.

Although the Inspector Montalbano books are available in more than 30 languages, I realized that the episodes and the books differed when I wanted to start reading the series in order. It was not easy to find every book in English.

It occurred to me that I had seen the first episode of the TV series “The Snack Thief,” and I loved it. So I rushed to buy the next book. Then I realized that “The Snack Thief” was the third book but the first episode. And actually, “The Shape of Water” is the first book in the series if you want to read Montalbano’s books in order. The book after “The Snack Thief” is “Voice of the Violin”, so I confirmed that the sequence of episodes and books did not match. And also, some of Camilleri’s books were short stories that had been turned into episodes. Still, others had not, which surprised me even more and are the most difficult to get hold of.

What are the Inspector Montalbano Books Called in Order?

What are the Inspector Montalbano books called in order? Suppose you want to read all the Inspector Montalbano books in order. In that case, I find it helpful to provide you with the English name and the original Italian name, with the date of publication in Italy. It might be helpful for you, as it was for me to find all the copies. Finding all the Inspector Montalbano book series titles in English has not been easy, so I have been encouraged to read some in other languages. Having the book title in Italian was beneficial to get copies of the books. Because in each country, the name of the book can change drastically.

Suppose you are learning a language and already have an intermediate level. In that case, Montalbano’s book series is great for practicing reading in another language and is easy to find on Kindle. Even Inspector Montalbano Book’s Amazon Audible is available, which was very useful for me to complement the reading with the audio and improve my pronunciation.

montalbano books in order audible

Recommended post: Inspector Montalbano Episodes In Order

Inspector Montalbano Books in Order to Read the Series in the Perfect Sequence

I am sure the list below will significantly help you, as it helped me find, buy and read Montalbano’s books in order. As you can see from the dates I have indicated, those are the publication dates in Italy. After that, the time (and title) may vary in other languages and countries.

As you read them, you will discover that sometimes Salvo’s story goes backward. After several books, you will find out about his first police case, when Salvo was still Sub-Inspector Montalbano before his promotion, which is reflected in Montalbano’s First Case.

Inspector Montalbano Books in Order, to Read the Series in the Perfect Sequence:

Following this sequence will ensure that you read everything in the correct order and immerse yourself in Inspector Montalbano’s captivating world. The chronological reading order for the Inspector Montalbano books by Andrea Camilleri is as follows:

“The Shape of Water”, Original Italian title: La Forma dell’Acqua, 1994

“The Terracotta Dog”, Original Italian title: Il Cane di Terracotta, 1996

“The Snack Thief”, Original Italian title: Il Ladro di Merendine, 1996

“Voice of The Violin”, Original Italian title: La Voce Del Violino, 1997

“One Month with Montalbano”, Original Italian title: Un Mese Con Montalbano (Short Stories), 1998

“Montalbano’s Croquettes”, Original Italian title: Gli Arancini di Montalbano (Short Story), 1999

“Excursion to Tindari”, Original Italian title: La Gita A Tindari, 2000

“The Scent of The Night”, Original Italian title: L’Odore della Notte, 2001

“The Fear of Montalbano”, Original Italian title: La Paura di Montalbano, 2003

“Rounding The Mark”, Original Italian title: Il Giro di Boa, 2003

“The Patience of The Spider”, Original Italian title: La Pazienza del Ragno, 2004

“Montalbano’s First Case”, Original Italian title: La Prima Indagine di Montalbano (Short Story), 2004

“The Paper Moon”, Original Italian title: La Luna di Carta, 2005

“August Heat”, Original Italian title: La Vampa D’agosto, 2006

“The Wings of The Sphinx”, Original Italian title: Le Ali della Sfinge, 2006

“The Track of Sand”, Original Italian title: La Pista Di Sabbia, 2007

Tales of Montalbano”, Original Italian title: Racconti di Montalbano (Short Stories), 2008

“The Potter’s Field”, Original Italian title: Il Campo del Vasaio, 2008

“The Age of Doubt”, Original Italian title: L’Età del Dubbio, 2008

“The Dance of The Seagull”, Original Italian title: La Danza del Gabbiano, 2009

“The Treasure Hunt”, Original Italian title: La Caccia Al Tesoro, 2010

“Keep That to Yourself”, Original Italian title: Acqua In Bocca, 2010

“Angelica’s Smile”, Original Italian title: Il Sorriso di Angelica, 2010

“The Game of Mirrors”, Original Italian title: Il Gioco degli Specchi, 2011

“A Blade of Light”, Original Italian title: Una Lama di Luce, 2012

“A Voice in The Night”, Original Italian title: Una Voce di Notte, 2012

“A Nest of Vipers”, Original Italian title: Un Covo di Vipere, 2013

“The Pyramid of Mud”, Original Italian title: La Piramide di Fango, 2014

“The Overnight Kidnapper”, Original Italian title: La Giostra degli Scambi, 2015

“The Other End of The Line”, Original Italian title: L’altro Capo del Filo, 2016

“The Safety Net”, Original Italian title: La Rete di Protezione, 2017

“The Sicilian Method”, Original Italian title: Il Metodo Siciliano, 2018

“The Cook of The Halcyon”, Original Italian title: Il Cuoco dell’Alcyon, 2019

“Riccardino” Riccardino, 2020 (released posthumously, meaning published after Andrea Camilleri’s death)

montalbano books in order kindle

Note: novels listed above are in chronological publication order as written. The year included corresponds to when they were published in Italy. So, consider a gap between them until it is translated.

And that is the list of the 34 Montalbano Books in Order. Let’s move to some comments I have prepared regarding this book series.

Curiosities About Some Books

Without giving away any mysteries or spoilers and regardless of the Inspector Montalbano Book Order of the list mentioned previously, I thought it would be cool to share with you some curiosities I discovered when trying to find the 34 books.

The so famous episode of the TV series Montalbano’s Croquettes (in Italian, Gli Arancini Di Montalbano) is actually a very short story published in 1999 which, when it was my turn to read it, I couldn’t find in English and read it in Italian.

Ten years after the series’ first book, Camilleri writes Montalbano’s First Case (in Italian, La prima indagine di Montalbano). With his story, he takes us back to Salvo’s first case, when he had not yet been promoted at work and was the sub-inspector of Vigata.

The original Italian book Acqua in bocca (in English named Keep That to Yourself) was written by Andrea Camilleri and Carlo Lucarelli, and published in 2010. While one of the main characters of the book is our beloved Salvo Montalbano, this story also features the female Italian Inspector Grazia Negro. It is an interesting comparison of Italian detective styles with very different personalities. She is a living example of courage, determination, and bravery. He is disgruntled, sharp, and self-centered. The consequence of collaboration will force them to stray from the law to solve the case in question, confronting the police and the secret services. If you want to understand the meaning of the Acqua in bocca it would be something like if you have water in the mouth, then keep it to yourself. Spanish use a similar expression saying, “By the mouth dies the fish”.

Although the names of the episodes and the books generally match, here is a curiosity. The famous last episode of the TV series (episode 37, season 15) broadcast on TV and streaming during 2021 and 2022, The Catalanotti Method, is based on a book called The Sicilian Method.

The books below are hard to find in English, but are easy to read in a different language with Kindle and Audible if you are learning languages beginner/intermediate level. I loved reading Acqua in bocca.

Acqua in Bocca by Lucarelli, Carlo (2011) Paperback
Acqua in Bocca by Lucarelli, Carlo (2011) Paperback
Andrea Camilleri (Author); Fastbook (Publisher)
La prima indagine di Montalbano
La prima indagine di Montalbano
Camilleri, Andrea (Author); Italian (Publication Language); 11/09/2021 (Publication Date) - Sellerio di Giorgianni (Publisher)
La Paura Di Montalbano
La Paura Di Montalbano
Italian (Publication Language); n/a (Publisher)
Un mese con Montalbano (Il commissario Montalbano Vol. 27) (Italian Edition)
Un mese con Montalbano (Il commissario Montalbano Vol. 27) (Italian Edition)
Amazon Kindle Edition; Camilleri, Andrea (Author); Italian (Publication Language); 332 Pages - 11/09/2017 (Publication Date) - Sellerio Editore (Publisher)
Arancini Con Montalbano (Scrittori italiani e stranieri) (Italian Edition)
Arancini Con Montalbano (Scrittori italiani e stranieri) (Italian Edition)
Hardcover Book; Camilleri, Andrea (Author); Italian (Publication Language); 343 Pages - 07/22/1999 (Publication Date) - Mondadori Italian (Publisher)

Best Books to Start Reading Inspector Montalbano

Suppose you are looking for a book to start reading. In that case, you can read the series in order (recommended, so you don’t miss any details) or start from any book (no need to read in order, trust me). However, some books may be more entertaining than others.

I recommend these three favorite Inspector Montalbano books to anyone looking to start with the series (especially if you eventually want to read some of them but not all or all in chronological published order). If you prefer to read them in order, please refer to the guide above, “Inspector Montalbano Book Order”.

The Shape of Water (La forma dell’acqua)

The Shape of Water is Camilleri’s first book in the Inspector Montalbano series. In this captivating novel, readers are introduced to the beloved character of Inspector Montalbano as he investigates a mysterious murder in the town of Vigàta, Sicily.

The body of engineer Silvio Luparello, a prominent local figure who appeared to have died in flagrante in the Fornace Penna area, is found there by two local waste company employees. The coroner declares that he died of natural causes. But, despite pressure from Vigàta’s police chief, judge, and bishop, Inspector Salvo Montalbano, who is as honest as he is streetwise and as caustic to idiots and crooks as he is empathetic to their victims, refuses to shut the investigation.

An Inspector Montalbano Mystery Books 1 - 18 Collection Set by Andrea Camilleri
An Inspector Montalbano Mystery Books 1 - 18 Collection Set by Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri (Author); English (Publication Language); 01/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Picador Book (Publisher)
$67.98 Amazon Prime
Riccardino: Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montalbano mysteries)
Riccardino: Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montalbano mysteries)
Hardcover Book; Camilleri, Andrea (Author); English (Publication Language); 10/14/2021 (Publication Date) - Mantle (Publisher)
$26.75 Amazon Prime
Snack Thief
Snack Thief
Andrea Camilleri (Author); English (Publication Language); 298 Pages - 08/20/2020 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)
$18.72 Amazon Prime

The Snack Thief (Il ladro di merendine)

The Snack Thief is the third book in the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, known as “Il ladro di merendine” in Italian. Only Inspector Montalbano believes there is a connection between the deaths of an old man stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler who is shot dead by a Tunisian patrol boat off the coast of Sicily.

His inquiry takes him to the attractive Karima, a poor housekeeper and sometimes prostitute whose kid steals mid-morning snacks from other schoolchildren. However, Karima vanishes, and the inspector uncovers a viper’s web of political corruption and global intrigue, endangering the young snack thief’s (Riccardino) life and Montalbano’s.

Whether you’re reading in English or Italian, this guide will ensure you read The Snack Thief in the perfect sequence to immerse yourself in Inspector Montalbano’s world fully.

I recommend reading The Snack Thief because this story is hardly connected with the last book (and soon one of the new Montalbano’s episodes), Riccardino, which represents the end of the Inspector Montalbano stories.

The Safety Net (La Rete Di Protezione)

The Safety Net is one of the last Inspector Montalbano’s book series written by Camilleri and published in 2017. It is known as “La rete di protezione” in Italian.

A play being shot in 1950 is causing chaos in Vigàta. The Italian-Swedish production firm has invited locals to look for old photographs and motion pictures to create genuine and feasible scenes. Engineer Ernesto Sabatello searches the attic and discovers a lot of movies. From 1958 through 1963, his father consistently shot them on the same day, March 27, year after year. There are never any individuals present; all that is seen is a wall that resembles the outside of a country house. The engineer, perplexed, passes everything to Montalbano, who, interested, starts an inquiry solely for the pleasure of learning more about that immobile and seemingly pointless situation. A bloody incident from many years ago, one of those stories buried in the shadows, gradually creates a hole in that wall between inspections and study.

Recommended post: Watch Inspector Montalbano Online Free with English Subtitles 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Inspector Montalbano Book Order

Let’s see some Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Inspector Montalbano Books in Order.

How Many Inspector Montalbano Books Are There

Between the 28 full-length books and all the compilations of short stories mentioned in the list of books in order, such as the novel written between Camilleri and Carlo Lucarelli (Acqua in bocca), it represents a total of 34 books published with Inspector Montalbano’s stories.

What Is the Last Inspector Montalbano Book

The last Inspector Montalbano book is called “Riccardino“. It was written several years before his death by Camilleri, who kept the corrected manuscript in a vault and requested its publication after his death. He prepared a few years before his death the ending of Inspector Montalbano to prevent the story from being left unfinished if he died. This book has not yet been made into a TV episode, but it is one of the New Montalbano episodes coming soon.

I am sure you will find this guide regarding Inspector Montalbano Books in Order in Reading Order very helpful. See you in our next post!

About Giulia

Introducing Giulia, the other half of our blogging team. Giulia, alongside her husband Joe, shares a deep appreciation for the Inspector Montalbano TV series and Andrea Camilleri’s literary works. Their exploration of Montalbano’s Sicily led them to fall head over heels for Ragusa. Giulia finds joy in strolling through the city's streets adorned with baroque art, savoring Sicilian cuisine, and relishing the proximity to the finest beaches in Sicily, including Marina di Ragusa, Scoglitti, Cefalù, and beyond. Together, they also embark on adventures to uncover famous filming locations across Europe.

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