I really enjoy the Montalbano mystery series by Andrea Camilleri, and The Paper Moon is the best so far. The translation by Stephen Sartarelli is brilliant, as always.
Michaela Pardo reports that her brother Angelo has been missing for 3 days. When Montalbano accompanies her to her brother’s apartment he discovers that Angelo has been shot in the face. As the investigation proceeds, he discovers that Angelo had a taste for beautiful women, and one in particular, Elena, will prove to be a great distraction for Montalbano.
The running jokes developed in the previous novels really work well in this one: Catarella’s incomprehensible dialect, Montalbano’s fear of aging, Fazio’s obsession with detail, and Augello’s newfound dedication to family. Sadly, Livia and Ingrid make only brief appearances, almost as an afterthought. Perhaps this was to make way for Elena.
If you’ve never read any of the Montalbano stories, don’t start with this one. Yes, it’s the best in the series, but to fully enjoy it you need to know the characters. I would recommend starting at the beginning with The Shape of Water.