Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano has become an international sensation whose adventures have been translated from Italian into eight languages, from Dutch to Japanese. The Shape of Wateris the first book in this sly, witty, engaging series with its sardonic take on Sicilian life. The goats of Vigata once grazed on the trash-strewn, sirocco-swept site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavor. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendor Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Lupanello, one of the local movers and shakers-apparently deceased in flagrante-at the Pasture. The coroner's verdict is death from natural causes-refreshingly unusual for Sicily. But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case-even though he's being pressured by Vigata's police chief, judge, and bishop. Picking his way nimbly through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta fire-power, and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the matter. Translated by Stephen Sartarelli.