According to the author’s note at the end of this book, Sicily was actually ruled by a woman for one month in the 17th century. Sadly, little is known about her, but Camilleri spins an excellent tale based on the scant historical evidence. In this telling, the woman outsmarts and outmaneuvers the corrupt and venal ruling council; distributes their stolen treasures to the people, in the form of lower taxes on bread and other necessities; closes down brothels and provides shelter and food to oppressed and exploited women; and just generally metes out justice to the guily. All in one lunar month.
It is well written and well translated, and a just generally enjoyable read.