The Terra-Cotta Dog Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Terra-Cotta Dog

Viking, Nov 2002, 19.95, 192 pp.
ISBN: 0670031380

Small time drug dealer and brothel owner Gege Gulotta arranges a meeting between his old schoolmate Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano and Mafiosi big shot Gaetano "Tano The Greek" Bennici. Tano asks Salvo to fake a raid and arrest him because he needs to go to the hospital for an illness without losing face among his peers.
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The simple performance of acting out the arrest of Tano almost collapses as Salvos' troops trip over one another. However, Tano's enemies manage to kill him anyway, but not before Salvo follows clues to a cave where a cache of loot and illegal arms are found right next to another cave where the remains of two lovers killed several decades ago lie next to a terra-cotta dog. Salvo begins his investigation in his droll style, which means search the literature as much or more so than interrogating those linked to the case.

The second Inspector Montalbano case is a strong police procedural due to the lead character, who is sort of similar to Colombo though a lot more wittier. The investigation will entertain readers, but mostly because Salvo is a great character. How can you not like someone whose preference is quiet time alone to finish a Barcelona detective story rather than deal with mobsters or search caves for clues. Fans of refreshing lively police investigations will want to obtain this novel as well Andrea Camilleri's previous Salvo book, THE SHAPE OF WATER.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Terra-Cotta Dog

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Murder of certain profession?    -   criminals Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Andrea Camilleri Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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