Inspector Montalbano: Turning Point, Collection 3, Episode 1

Based on the 7th book in the series, whose English title is “Rounding the Mark“, Salvo turns up to station to find workers getting rid of graffiti. He tries to keep Caterella’s spirits up, but when he goes through the eerily empty station, he decides to call the commissioner. Mimi over hears the conversation and realises that Salvo plans to resign after recent exposes as to police corruption.

  Mimi rails against him, telling him that he may feel betrayed, but his resignation would be a betrayal of those who actually work for and respect him.

Salvo goes swimming and comes across a body floating face down in sea. He pulls it ashore, where he gets attacked by an old couple, the Bausans, who have been watching him and think he’s a murderer. The shoot a gun into the air then knock him unconscious with her walking stick, just as Fazio arrives. (we also get a rare glimpse of Salvo’s naked backside after his trunks fall down – glad to see Equal Opportunity nakedness on our TV screens!).

Pasquano believes the man had beendead before thrown in water about a week ago. Marks say he was tied up before hand and attacked by crabs after death. Looks like Salvo still in mood to quit as he visits Commissioner’s office again, only to find he’s still away.

Salvo visits an immigrant camp, where they are being rounded up. A young boy, Khakis, who is very reminiscent of Francois,  runs away, but Salvo returns him to his mother.

Salvo goes to visit Ciccio, a fisherman, who takes look at corpse and disputes how long he’s been in water and where he was dumped. The fisherman thinks the body had been kept somewhere secluded for a bit, then dumped in sea to give the impression that it’s come from far away

Salvo goes to hospital looking for refugee with the 3 kids he saw the day before, but whilst she made it to the ambulance she never made it to be treated. He sees the ambulance crew as he leaves, who swear they dropped her off, but didn’t take her in as they returned to the site.  Over lunch with Niccolo, they expand theories, and the reporter suggests they’ve all been played where she fakes an injury in order to be taken to A&E, which are not monitored and vanishes in order to join her husband.

Niccolo then asks favour, a journalist friend called Sozio Melato wants to meet Salvo as he’s doing a piece on immigrants. Salvo talks to Livia and tries to get perspective on why the boy would run away from his mother.

Caterella thinks he’s identified the dead man, but Mimi’s not sure. Salvo calls Inspector Vattiato from another town as the dead man might be one Ernesto Errera , unfortunately Errera has been dead and buried a year.

Talking to Mimi, Salvo hears a young boy has been killed in a hit and run….it’s the immigrant boy. Leaving the morgue he gets stopped by a nurse who had worked A&E the day the immigrants came in, saw the woman and the boys be picked up by a car, and the boy tried to run away again,

Salvo talks to the farmer who reported the hit and run, sounds like the child was run over on purpose. Fazio has found out that Marzilla, the nurse, and his wife are heavily in debt, esp after their shop burnt down the previous year. Marzilla comes round to Salvos house and admits that he’s so in debt, the loan shark has him transport illegal children yo the hospital in exchange for a reduction in interest payments. Now the child is dead, Marzilla is scared what the loan shark is going to do.

Some anonomous post comes implying that the body buried in Erreras grave was so mangled, there is doubt as to who could be buried there. Ingrid comes round for dinner, recognises photo of Mini Lococo, one of her brief lovers. They used to meet at the old tuna factory, which had a couple of rooms converted. Lococo used to talk in Arabic and Italian using both satellite phones and radio. Ingrid dumped him because there was something she didn’t feel happy with…Lococo was extremely paranoid.

She stays the night and Salvo sleeps on sofa. Marzilla stops by to say multiple boats are due in in the next few days, but that he has a job that evening. Salvo gets Ingrid to come round that evening as he wants to use her driving skills.

Melato visits station, tells Salvo about illegal smuggling of children for begging, sex trade or for organ harvest. He has come because Baddar Gafsa has been seen in Vigata. A Tunisian, he is the leader of the organisation running the smuggling and is in Vigata because that’s where the processing centre is for the bigger stake immigrants. The centre used to be run by an Italian, who got too big for his boots so was killed. Salvo takes this to be Lococo.

They set up to raid the tuna factory, with Mimi and Fazio leading the two teams, and Salvo on his own. The boat comes in, the young boys are taken into the factory to be processed. Rather than wait for the others, Salvo decides to take on the smugglers himself, resulting in gun fire, Gafsa being fatally wounded and Salvo himself being shot

To recover from being shot, Fazio drives Salvo into the mountains to an isolated house that doesn’t have a phone, and is told to come back in a week, having told no one where Salvo is. The house is one where Salvos father went to get away from things. Montalbano Snr’s business partner, Pasterfilipi, lives nearby and has kept the house as it was before salvos father died.

Other posts on this episode:

https://itsacrimeuk.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/bbc4-inspector-montalbano-turning-point/

 

 

Inspector Montalbano: The goldfish and the Cat, Collection 2, Episode 6

montalbano-2

On the way to church, Mrs Todaro gets mugged, has her handbag taken, and a revolver is fired at close range but somehow misses.

Mimi comes in to pick up some papers, reminds Salvo re the wedding date and that he needs to pick up the rings, something Salvo has clearly forgotten, again. Meanwhile headquarters are sending cover for the month Mimi is off.

We cut to a priest climbing steps to his church (oh so many steps!) where another parishioner gets mugged. There are great views down to the town, showing how great Sicily looks, even with all those hills.

Mimi and Salvo meet for lunch and Mimi is wondering whether to rent his house out after the wedding. Obviously he still has cold feet and is thinking of a bolt hole. However lunch gets interrupted by commissioner, Bonetti Alderighi, who wants to see Salvo ASAP about the muggings. Since he is getting pressure from the church, Alderighi threatens to hand over to someone else.

Meanwhile there is a madman destroying things at Vigata A&E, and with everyone else out Salvo goes to find out what’s happening. He finds that the man, now sedated, went ballistic when he finds out that his daughter Marluccia is pregnant, giving Fazio a black eye in the process. They meet a Father Vassallo who runs a rehab centre outside Vigata and is sitting with Marluccia who is in shock.

There is a third case for the team with the disappearance of Doctor Saverio Landolino, who had gone out fishing the night before and not come back home. Nothing has been stolen and no signs of struggle, so doesn’t look like robbery or kidnapping.

Example dialogue:
Salvo: What’s happening?
Fazio: Did Caterella not explain?
Salvo: Yes he did, that’s why I’m asking

Mimi’s replacement turns up, an attractive woman called Barbera Bellini, who Salvo hasn’t seen in 12 years.

The following morning, the doctor has still not been found, Fazio meets Barbera and is instantly smitten. Meanwhile Angela lo Porto, the Doctor’s nurse, turns up for questioning. She believes he has been murdered by Ignazio Coglitore, the father who beat up Fazio in A&E, on the grounds that the Doctor got the daughter pregnant. She tells a tale that the girl had turned up a year before, the Doctor had instigated a sexual relationship and an excuse to see her every 2 weeks. Finally she turns up, pregnant, wanting to tell her father. Doctor puts her off, saying he needed to get a divorce and she last came round 5 days previously.

The Coglitores belong to religious cult, with the Marluccia’s aunt is the guru. Coglitore has taken the girl home from hospital and doesn’t let Salvo see her when he visits.

Salvo is buying rings when he hears a gunshot from outside, a woman has been mugged and actually hit with a bullet this time. Forensics have confirmed that the previously muggings have been firing blanks – the question is why?

Salvo returns to the police station to find Mimi flirting with Barbera. Mimi asks Salvo to find someone to rent his house. Salvo rents it out to Barbera, but asks her to go on job first….she gets sent to see the guru, who tells her to make choice between older man she’s known for years (Salvo) and younger man who is yet to make a move (Fazio). She leaves, whilst clocking who else was there including the harpies in the corner, knitting away and taking donations in silence……

She looks for and finds Marluccia, persuades her to escape, to where Salvo and Fazio are sitting with the car, having overheard everything. Girl gets taken to priest’s safe house, with Barbera plans to stay the night, Salvo makes Fazio stay too……

Following day, Mrs Jopollo gets mugged and shot properly…..she’s the sister to the deputy minister Biondiolilo so there’s political pressure almost immediately to get the murder sorted. Commissioner tells Salvo that he’s hanging case over to Limeo from the flying squad. Naturally, Salvo not impressed and walks out, but predicts that another woman will be mugged, with blanks being fired again….

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s wife has withdrawn €2000000 from the bank account of the husband…..Salvo goes to visit Mrs Landolino, only to find she’s left previously, and that the priest has been visiting daily.  Salvo goes to the airport to find the missing doctor and his wife in the check-in queue to leave the country. Salvo makes sure he’s seen but leaves without saying anything. Goes to see the priest who confirms hypothetical story, including how Dr has left priest a chunk of money. Salvo promises that he make up some story for the press.

Another woman gets mugged, but this time she manages to injure the mugger, so there’s a search at the hospitals for someone with a cut hand.

It’s 3am and Salvo gets woken by Beba calling….Mimi is missing. Salvo knows exactly where he is, and goes to the batcheor pad to find Barbera in a towel and Mimi fast asleep. He’s tried to get Barbera drunk to have sex, but failed. Salvo sends him home. Meanwhile Barbera has realised that the dead woman, Mrs Jopollo, had visited the guru, leaving a large wad of cash behind. Mrs Panebianco (the next door neighbour) confirms the story, saying Mrs Jopollo had left in a hurry, believing that her husband was in a critical condition in hospital, leaving her pets behind.

During the interview, Fazio confirms that they’ve found the mugger, who has previous, and was defended…..by Mr Jopollo. Salvo goes to visit Mr Jopollo and puts his theory to him…Jopollo killed his wife over money being given to the Guru every time she visits, but he had forgotten about the cat and goldfish. Jopollo thinks there is no evidence until Salvo points out that they have the accomplice who has confessed.  The other muggings were to hide the fact there was a specific target, and Jopollo picked a petty criminal who he had defended previously.

Later, Salvo and Mimi are out on the evening before his marriage. They meet Fazio and Barbera who are out dancing, and Mimi wants to go for a drink with all the pretty girls, but Salvo sends him home. He almost goes to the bar, but finally decides to go home too……

Inspector Montalbano: Turning Point, Collection 3, Episode 1

montalbano-fazioI cant tell which book this comes from – it’s certainly not known under this name anyway – so cant do a “compare and contrast”.  Salvo turns up to station to find workers getting rid of graffiti. He tries to keep Caterella’s spirits up, but when he goes through the eerily empty station, he decides to call the commissioner (who is out of the office). Mimi overhears the conversation, and realises that Salvo plans to resign after recent raids on the police.  Mimi rails against him, telling him that he may feel betrayed, but his resignation would be a betrayal of those who actually work for and respect him.

Salvo goes swimming, comes across a body floating face down in sea. He manages to pull it ashore, where he gets attacked by an old couple, the Bausans, who have been watching him and think he’s a murderer. They shoot a gun into the air then knock him unconcious with her walking stick, just as Fazio arrives.

Pasquano believes the man was dead before thrown in water about a week previously. Cuts on his body tell that he was tied up before hand and attacked by crabs after death. Salvo continues to be in the mood to quit as he visits Commissioner’s office again, only to find he’s still away.

Salvo visits an immigrant camp, where they are being rounded up. A young man runs away, but Salvo persuades him to returns to his mother. The whole situation is cvery reminiscent of Francois.

Salvo goes to visit Ciccio, a fisherman, who takes look at the corpse and disputes how long he’s been in water and where he was dumped. The fisherman thinks the body had been kept somewhere secluded for a bit, then dumped in sea to give the impression that it’s come from far away.

Salvo goes to the local hospital looking for refugee with the 3 kids he saw the day before, but whilst she made it to the ambulance she never made it to be treated. He sees the ambulance crew as he leaves, who swear they dropped her off, but didn’t take her in as they returned to the site.  Over lunch with Niccolo, they expand theories, and TVs reporter suggests they’ve all been played where she fakes an injury in order to be taken to A&E, which are not monitored,mind vanishes in order to join her husband.

Niccolo then asks favour, a journalist friend called Sozio Melato wants to meet Salvo as he’s doing a piece on immigrants. Salvo talks to Livia and tries to get perspective on why the boy would run away from his mother.

Caterella thinks he’s identified the dead man, but Mimi is not sure. Salvo calls Inspector Vattiato from another town as the dead man might be one Ernesto Errera. Unfortunately for Salvo and Caterella, Errera has been dead and buried a year.

Talking to Mimi, Salvo hears a young boy has been killed in a hit and run….it’s the immigrant boy. Leaving the morgue he gets stopped by a nurse who had worked A&E the day the immigrants came in, saw the woman and the boys be picked up by a car, with the boy tried to run away again,

Salvo talks to the farmer who reported the hit and run, and it sounds like the child was run over on purpose. Fazio has found out that Marzilla, the ambulance nurse, and his wife are heavily in debt, especially after their shot burnt down the previous year. Marzilla comes round to Salvo’s house and admits that he’s so in debt, the loan shark has him transport illegal children to the hospital in exchange for a reduction in interest payments. He is scared now the child is dead as he dosnt know what’s going to happen next.

Some anonomous post comes to the station implying that the body buried in Errera’s grave was so mangled, there is doubt as to who could be buried there. Ingrid comes round for dinner, and recognises photo of the dead man as Mini Lococo, one of her brief lovers. They used to meet at the old tuna factory, which had a couple of rooms converted. Lococo used to talk in Arabic and Italian using both satellite phones and radio. Ingrid dumped him because there was something she didn’t feel happy with…Lococo was extremely paranoid.ingrid

She stays the night and Salvo sleeps on sofa. Marzilla stops by to say multiple boats are due in in the next few days, but that he has a job that evening. Salvo gets Ingrid to come round that evening as he wants to use her driving skills.

Melato visits station, tells Salvo about illegal smuggling of children for begging, sex trade or for organ harvest. Has come because Baddar Gafsa has been seen in Vigata. A Tunisian, he is the leader of the organisation running the smuggling and is in Vigata cos that’s where the processing centre is for the bigger stake immigrants. Used to be run by an Italian, who got too big for his boots so was killed. Salvo takes this to be Lococo.

They set up to raid the tuna factory, with Mimi and Fazio leading the two teams, and Salvo on his own. Instead of waiting for the team to cover him, Salvo goes in on his own, and ends up getting shot, but not before shooting Gafsa dead.

To recover from being shot, Fazio drives Salvo into the mountains to an isolated house that doesn’t have a phone, and is told to come back in a week, having told no one where Salvo is. The house is one where Salvo’s father went to to get away from things and his business partner,
Pasterfilipi, lives nearby and has kept the house as it was before Salvo’s father died

Inspector Montalbano, The Scent of Night, Collection 2, Episode 5

The scent of the NightThis is the 6th book in  the series, but slightly later in the TV series. The episode starts with Salvo turning up to a hostage situation, where the 80 year old Garzullo is holding Miss Consentino, the secretary of banker Gargano, hostage, claiming to have been robbed by Gargano. Salvo resolves the issue by pretending the banker has already been arrested, so holding the hostage is pointless. As usual, it’s great use of old Sicilian actor as the wronged man.

Salvo questions Consentino, who seems to have immense trust in her employer, even though she has no idea where he is and doesn’t seem too concerned she hasn’t seen him for  a month.

Gargano had arrived 2 years previously, had attracted a decent number of clients, paid 20% interest after 6 months only to finally disappear close to the payout date. Mimi thinks Gargano has conned a Mafiosi and got himself killed as a result – Guarnotta from the Montelusa fraud squad agrees with him.

The Commissioner calls, demanding Salvo to be over in his office immediately, something Salvo is not prepared to do. He goes for a walk on the beach and finds out that during a nearby house renovation, the old olive tree has been uprooted. Angry, he takes a spade to the windows of the building site nearby.

Salvo fakes an accident, arrives in the Commissioner’s office with a bandage on his head. Commissioner has found out via anonymous tip off about Francois, and has formed a negative opinion of the whole affair, deciding Salvo has stolen the savings book, and essentially trafficked Francois to Mimi’s sister.  Salvo manages to prove that he left savings book with a notary, having not touched a cent of it and lets it be known to the Commissioner.

Giacomo Pellegrino (uncle to the Giacomo Pellegrino who works for Gargano) comes to report vandalism to a house he’s renovating. Both Salvo and Fazio realise this is the house with the uprooted olive tree that Salvo damaged in anger.

Mimi is out on wedding leave, something Salvo has forgotten, even though he is the best man. A month previously, the nephew visited the uncle to tell that he had to go to Germany on business and was expecting to be away a month.

Salvo goes to visit Michela Manganaro, the other employee. She lives with her parents who are seriously deaf. Cue lots of shouting, especially from neighbours who come out to see what’s happening. It becomes clear she’s already been interviewed by Mimi and she knows him well enough to know he’s distracted and soon to be married. Salvo leaves, she gets dressed, they meet later for her to be questioned. She’s quite a flirt, comes onto Salvo only for he to reject her. She believes both Pellegrino and Giacomo are gay, have probably slept together, but that Pellegrino would never have been sent away for a month on business.

That evening, Mimi pops round just as Salvo is about to eat. He hits the whiskey, pouring out that he’s got cold feet about the wedding. Cut to later, we find Salvo has fallen asleep on couch, his food untouched. He takes himself to bed only to find Mimi already there, dressed but nursing the empty whiskey bottle.

The following morning Fazio has found notes to say Gargano’s car had been seen, but the witness (Tommasino) is unreliable as he is believed to be delusional.

Cesare Bocci
Cesare Bocci – Mimi

Mimi comes to the office to say that the wedding has had to be postponed because Beba’s father had heart attack. Salvo is pissed that Mimi has told Livia before him.

Salvo visits Miss Consentino again. She’s surprised at Pellegrino’s visit to Germany. She gives over Pellegrino’s Vigata address, so that Salvo can interview the landlady, who says he moved out even earlier, expecting to come back to his own place.

Following a visit to see Francois, who expresses a desire to become a policeman like Salvo, Salvo sends copies of adoption papers to commissioner, threatening slander if commissioner brings the subject up again.

The team find that Pellegrino had booked flights to Germany but he never got on it, having changed his ticket. They work out where he stayed the night before he was due to leave…the house under renovation.

Salvo wants to talk to Tommasino, the guy who reports seeing things not there. Tommasino explains that he’s very much like his grandson, who he plays with, and has developed the tendency to see things that aren’t there, but often knows they’re not real. If they can agree the three headed monster isn’t real, but that cars are, why should he not be believed when he reports he’s seen a car?

Salvo takes Tommasino to the spot there he saw the car, and when sea is less rough, Salvo goes diving, finding Gardano’s car at the bottom, with a dead body in it. Salvo visits Manganaro, who gives him some info to think about, including that secretary has large house just outside Vigata and definitely had a thing for Gangarno

Fazio has found that Gargano has paid Pelligrino 350000€ in the last year, probably blackmail money as Pelligrino has realised what Gargano is up to. Blackmail has Gargano meeting Pelligrino on the beach the 31st August, shooting him and putting him in the car. Gargano hides as Tommasino comes walking past, then pushes the moped and the car into the sea.

Fazio investigates Consentino more and for once his in depth info allows Salvo to realise she is the niece of Miss Cusuco, the older woman we met in episodes 1 & 2. Mrs Cusuco tells how niece was a little strange, OCD and delusional, refusing to accept things when her father died, keeping his corpse in the house for 3 days.

Salvo goes to visit Miss Consentino, but she gets knocked down in the street outside the office. He takes her home, she shows him round the house, leading to the guest room, where the decomposing corpse of Gargano is laid out. She is acting dazed and as if there’s nothing strange or wrong with the situation. Now in pain, she finally agrees to have the doctor called. Having known her a long time, the doctor understands Salvo’s  request to have her sedated  long enough for Salvo to call in Guarnotta from the fraud squad to finish it off. Whilst he waits, Salvo imagines that Gargano has turned up at the house after killing Pelligrino, stays the night and it’s during the night that Consentino kills him.

The episode finishes with a return to site where the killing took place, where Salvo gets to look out to sea, all moody.

 

Inspector Montalbano: Montalbano’s Croquettes, Collection 2, episode 4

Montalbano's CroquettesMontalbano’s Croquettes is not based on one of the books but rather a short story, Gli arancini di Montalbano, which is still not available in English.

When I came to watch this again, I barely remembered watching it the first time around – however, some things fell into place that I know I wouldn’t have spotted the first time round, and that come to play later in the series. In particular the presence of Pasquale, the son of Montalbano’s housekeeper and his involvement in what happens during the episode.

It’s the time between Christmas and New Year, and starts with Salvo talking with Livia on the phone. They have agreed to spend New Year in Paris (her choice) and it’s clear from the outset that Salvo doesn’t want to go. He hasn’t even unwrapped the tie she’s sent him and wants him to wear during the break.  Fazio and the boys, Adelina (via Pasquale), and Mimi all invite Salvo out for New Year, but he declines, all the time telling people he’s going to Paris.

Salvo has allowed Caterella to take on Orlando – the dog from the previous episode. Caterella is loving having the dog in the barracks, but needs to be reassured that Salvo is not going to take the dog away.Inspector Montalbano

Meanwhile an older man and his much younger second wife have been found dead following their call driving off a the side of the mountain. His son is a painter and a drunk, who inherits €400,000 from the old man because both him and Stefania have died. The car is only 2 months old but has been back into the garage several times for apparent issues to do with the brakes, but nothing was found.  Turns out that Stefania is  – Surprise! – one of Mimi’s old girlfriends, and unfortunately Beba finds out and gives him no end of trouble. The wedding has to be postponed because of Beba’s father has a heart attack, the morning after Mimi has spent the night at Salvo’s getting drunk and complaining about cold feet. Salvo is not impressed when he finds out that the one thing Mimi HAS done after the heart attack is to talk to Livia.

The dead couple were having their villa worked on, and when visiting the site, Montalbano finds they’ve been burgled. This leads them to raid the Albanian work gang, most of whom are illegal and undocumented. The commissioner decides to lock all the gang up, but in interviewing one of the workers (who was found with the stolen DVD Player under his bed) coughs up who gave it to him (Pasquale) and why (for getting a copy of the keys). Pasquale then gets picked up for the burglary.

The police still can’t make sense of the accident – why did the brakes not work, when the garage had checked them out, and why were Stefania’s nails broken as if she tried to get out the car?  They find a tape with Stefania’s voice on it telling someone about how he will inherit everything once his father was dead, which implies the drunken son. However, Pasquale had been sitting waiting to burgle the villa, and saw someone fiddle with the car – it certainly wasn’t the drunkard son!

The police then have to consider that the drunk painter is not the only son of the old man, and with the help of his mafia contacts, Salvo finds the other child, what has happened to him, and how he fits into the death of his father and step-mother. It leads to a shocking result in a graveyeard that noone expected.

Pasquale is back in jail due to the robbery, but Salvo (wearing Livia’s tie) takes Caterella to pick Pasquale and his girlfriend up in order to go to Adelina’s for New Year. Mimi had hoped to go home early, leaving Caterella to cover the phones, but Salvo manages to ensure that Mimi remains in the office (to get back at him over Livia?).

We get to watch Adelina cook the promised Croquettes (one of Salvo’s favourites) – unfortunately I cant find any video to share, although there are several videos (usually in Italian!) of how to cook Arancini/croquettes.  I have also found a recipe with pictures

Livia tracks him down to Adelina’s house and the pair have a raging argument on the phone as she’s fed up with him making every excuse not to leave Sicily. The episode ends with fireworks in the dark, lighting the sky.

 

 

 

 

Inspector Montalbano: The Sense of Touch, Collection 2, Episode 3

montalbano-3Like the previous episode, The Artist’s Touch, this is another episode based on a short story, rather than an actual book.

The episode starts with an old blind man leaving his house with his guide dog Orlando. The house is not one of the more salubrious places in Sicily, which, despite being near the sea, is a one story structure with the basics. No lighting, a double bed, a chest of drawers, low ceiling. There is none of the wealth and high ceilings displayed in other episodes.
The man’s departure is watched by another man, his face shrouded by hat and upturned collar, who promptly breaks into the house to put something in the medicine bottle beside the bed

The following day, the man’s neighbour walks past and spots Orlando is now outside, but he doesn’t approach the house.  Piccolomini doesn’t answer the calls to the fact that he’s shut his dog out and the neighbour leaves without getting a response.

We’re back to Salvo swimming then having a coffee on his balcony as his phone goes. Caterella calls, leading to telling Salvo about the dead man. Initial thoughts are gas poisoning as the gas hob seems to have be left on, with no ventilation. The neighbour warns that Orlando is dangerous, something Salvo doesn’t believe, as dog has been fine with him.

Not knowing what to do with the dog now the owner is dead, Salvo takes him home. When he tells her, Livia is amused and thinks it a great idea for Salvo to have some company

In investigating the dead man, they come across a charity, “Lux in Umbria” who provided Piccolomini with the guide dog. Salvo doesn’t like the idea that the old man left the dog outside – why would a blind man lock his dog outside? The suicide theory doesn’t sit with him either. The autopsy shows that death was due to overdosing on barbiturates, combined with an unknown heart problem, and that gas in cylinders cannot poison you.

Mario di Stefano, the director of Lux in Umbria, pays Salvo a visit, asks for the dog back. Salvo promises to get around to it, but is in no rush to do so – he thinks the dog is part of the whole situation. Piccolomini’s sister Ignazia runs a hotel in Levanza, which peaks Salvo’s interest, especially when he finds she is a very good cook and that Piccolomini visited every weekend.

Coming back from a swim with the dog, the people from the charity are at Salvo’s front door. Not willing to give the dog back right now, Salvo hides both himself and Orlando.

Salvo meets Ignazia at the funeral and gets invited to stay a while. When Livia comes for a visit, Salvo suggests a trip to Levanza, taking the dog. Once on the ferry, Orlando slips away and greets one of the crew, who gives his impression of the old man as difficult. It’s not long before Livia realises that this holiday is really a job for Salvo and she’s moderately annoyed. The hotel and specifically their room is lovely, with the balcony overlooking beach and sea.Montalbano Livia

Meanwhile, back in Vigata, notes are being found in carafes saying “help they’re killing me” and they’re upsetting Caterella, leading to a call to Salvo. Cue a four way comedy piece between Salvo, Caterella, Fazio and Mimi. Salvo tells Fazio to work out as much as possible about the people who sold the carafe to Caterella.

Whilst sightseeing, in some spectacular looking caves, Orlando runs off again, making his way to a fisherman, Toto Recca, who doesn’t take well to Salvo’s questions. Recca has lots of electrical equipment, but hasn’t taken the boat out in a couple of days. He did take Piccolomini out for a drive every weekend however..

Salvo returns to Vigata for a few days without telling Livia, whilst getting Mimi down to keep her company. Both are angry at him, so wind him up when he rings and playing to his jealous streak.

When in Vigata, the carafe seller has been tracked down and Salvo pays.them a visit. The man is tetchy and evasive and it is clear that he treats his wife badly – which makes Salvo suspect something deeper is going on.

When he returns to the hotel, he gets jealous at the thought of Mimi flirting with Livia and the possibility that she gave in, even though it was his idea. He and Livia have sex in bedroom, then having gone to private beach, have sex again….

Walking the dog early one morning he overhears a conversation between the brother in law (Palomino) and Recca. Later in the day, and during a bike ride with Livia and the dog, they reach a beach where the police  have found a body…it’s Recca. Whilst talking to cabineri, Livia and dog stay away, but Orlando still barks at them.

Finishing their holiday. Livia and Salvo leave, and when getting on the ferry, Orlando reacts badly to a cabineri with a dog. Ferryman remembers Piccolomini losing his stick in the water on one trip back to Vigata and going crazy until it was returned. Stick floated till it was fished out. Somehow Livia forgives Salvo for working during their holiday

Salvo nips home to find that Orlando has disappeared – someone has broken into his home and stolen him. Salvo thinks he’s been dog napped, won’t consider him simply having run away Salvo returns to the office to find Mimi in crisis…he still finds other women attractive, despite having Beba. Salvo tells him to grow up.

Salvo visits the propane gas providers, finds Piccolomini was regular as clockwork, and cylinders always have specific tags on them. The ones in the house didn’t come from usual supplier, therefore can only have come from killer. Meanwhile they test the white stick in water, to find it sinks…Salvo’s theory is that empty ones float, full ones sink.

Galluzo gets to investigate di Stefano’s driver funds he was arrested for illegal dog fights but nothing proved. Salvo makes a visit to kennels in search of Orlando, hears that the dogs have been given away, and that Lux being closed down as they have run out of money.

Salvo has been called by Mrs Sara Tarantino, wife of the carafe seller, who asks him to come round after midnight. She admits she put the messages in the carafes the year before as she feared her husband, but they have sorted things out in a way that she doesn’t want rescuing or protection. Clearly this is a case of Domestic Violence, where he had tied her up for days, she had tried to slit her wrists… But if the victim doesn’t want to take it further, there is nothing Salvo can do, no matter what he feels or wants. Episode shows Salvo’s more sensitive side, that he can get away with not bullying people. Lighting does Zingaretti no harm either….!

Recca also had large of money in his account and following the autopsy it is clear his death wasn’t an accident…

The police pull Palomino in for questioning and he admits he is deep in debt. Salvo points out with Piccolomini’s death all problems are over, but Palomino claims he didn’t know of €400,000. He asks the question though, that on a pension of 500 a month, where did all that money come from?

Salvo goes to visit Cascio, but finds out he died several days previously. Another blind man, officially poor, Salvo finds out from a neighbour that Cascio has died in mysterious circumstances, but leaving a large estate. His guide dog had to be put down as it attacked every dog in sight.

Forensics have found fingerprints on light switch in dead mans house….those of a previous offender – Aloisio, di Stefano’s driver.

Salvo pulls the team in to explain his theory…Russo gives drugs to Piccolomini, who hides the drugs in his  stick, gives the drugs to di Stefano, who gives to Cascio to pass on. Orlando reacts the way he does to dogs and police because he is a trained attack dog. The reason for the killings unclear but possibly cos people want out.

The team raid the Lux site, get shot at, with lots of guns….you don’t get this on Morse! The team find the place is empty with the gunman, Aloisio, having disappeared. Empty hollow white sticks found by the sniffer dogs confirm that part of theory.

Salvo visits di Stefano at home, a short but well framed shot of Salvo walking across empty town square late at night, for him  to be confronted by thick heavy door….compare and contrast with Cascio’s one story beach front council house! Salvo puts scare onto di Stefano, blaming Aloisio, but showing he knows everything. Tells di Stefano that a patrol car will be outside and a wiretap will be on his phone…at which point the phone goes. di Stefano answers it to silence on other end. Finally Salvo leaves, and congratulates Fazio for timing the call perfectly.

Following day di Stefano goes to what I take to be a large farm, where Aloisio is hiding out. He tries to bribe Aloisio for his silence, but pulls out gun when Aloisio refuses, only to be stopped by Salvo and his armed team. Both men taken away, but Salvo demands time to talk to Aloisi on his own. Gives Aloisio three choices: die by di Stefano’s gun, die by Salvo’s gun, or tell Salvo where Orlando is.

Cut to scene where there is another raid breaking up an illegal dog fight in process and a number of dogs including Orlando are released.

Inspector Montalbano,The Artist’s Touch, Collection 2, episode 2

Apparently this story is the first one not based on a book, and it makes a departure from the usual opening (of Salvo swimming or being woken by Catarella). Instead it starts with a close up intricate metalwork art being made. Sitting on the workbench, there’s a book titled “Manuscript found in Saragossa”.

montalbano-3

A beautiful woman makes early morning visit to an old man called Alberto, there’s lots of mist outside and inside the garden, it’s all very atmospheric, and overall nicely shot. However, inside it’s not mist but smoke which is the result of a fire, and the woman finds something shocking. The coolness and dampness is a good contrast with the next view, which is an inside view looking out onto Salvo’s balcony where he takes his breakfast coffee. Caterella rings to advise of a Russian woman (“Larussa”) being found dead in suspicious circumstances.

This “Russian Woman” is in fact Alberto Larussa, a jeweller that Salvo knew through Livia. Confined to a wheelchair for the last 31 years he seems to have strapped himself into a home made electric chair and killed himself.

The woman who found him is Anna, who is the niece of Larussa’s neighbour, a distant friend to the police and Salvo in particular. Salvo is very charming and flirty, gets a lot of info whilst not giving anything away, something Anna picks him up on.

Meanwhile Mimi is investigating the death of Ignazio Cucchiara a loan shark who had been found shot dead, with no clues or murder weapon left behind.

Larussa, though teetotal, had apparently downed a bottle of whisky before his death. Forensics think it’s suicide, Salvo is not convinced and after the evening news report, a witness comes forward to report seeing car race out of house when he’s walking his dog. Once again great use of old Scicilian actor, with sarcasm, humour and old man repetition.

Caterella proves to be useful as the only one to know how to use the Internet…. Dialup, how quaint! They get a copy of the book found on the bench beside the dead man, but it takes Livia to point out author of book died the same way as Larussa and perhaps its a message. Livia is down for the funeral (since Larussa has made stuff specifically for her), Salvo doesnt attend the funeral himself but picks her up after and Livia spots Salvo’s reaction to Anna but when she questions him about who she is he is vague about her. Salvo spots someone else at the funeral and puts a trace on the car.

Salvo gets another 48 hours to investigate before case gets closed as a suicide. He starts searching the house, cue the use of some great interiors, and he finds a photo album with pictures cut in half…who is missing? A revolver and a copy of the will also found. The person named in will is the person seen by the witness driving way early one morning…it’s the dead man’s brother Giacomo who has yet to come forward. Working with handwriting experts, they establish the will is a fake and it turns out the brother is the man Salvo reacted to at funeral. When they bring him in for questioning, he seems resigned to what ever happens, expecting a kafka-eske experience.

Giacomo is delivered to jail but even Fazio has doubts as to his guilt. During his interview Giacomo says there would be no point faking the will in his favour as he got everything anyway under his father’s will. He was bankrupt however, withdrawing all his money in last few months. However he seems resigned to being in jail though he claims to be innocent of his brothers death.

Salvo interviews the lawyer who looked after the family business. Turns out both men were in love with the same woman, Emma – she’s the one in the photo. She was in love with both but ultimately choose Alberto who did not become crippled in riding accident but by falling down stairs…or was he pushed? Other clues come to the surface to indicate that this was all a ruse by Alberto to get his brother jailed for his death.

Salvo picks up Livia who is down for a visit as he takes a holiday. He pops into work to give them an update, and is stopped by Mimi, who cannot find any reason who killed his loan shark. By fluke Salvo recognises a name of one of the witnesses….it’s Emma. Everything slips into place. Giacomo has been paying her debts, but has run out of money, he goes to Alberto who refuses the money, so Giacomo takes Alberto’s gun, shoots the loan shark Cucchiara, returns the gun to Alberto’s house, not realising that Alberto is already dead.

zingaretti-1Giacomo is arrested for death of loan shark – it’s decided thatAlberto’s death is a suicide designed to get back at the brother.  Salvo allows Giacomo to visit Emma one more time, then allows Mimi the arrest of the loan shark’s killer. He goes home to find Livia (who he left alone in the car hours earlier) asleep on a chair on the balcony. Somehow she forgives him…..