Originally published in 2001, Andrea Camilleri's The Smell of the Night deals with a Bernard Madoff-type ponzi scheme.
A crooked investor makes off with people's money, billions of lire. Inspector Montalbano investigates and finds the principals murdered.
I picked up this book because it was cheap. It added just enough to a Christmas gift order to get free shipping.
And of course, I enjoy Inspector Montalbano. One of the first things he does when he learns of the ponzi scheme, is that he thinks of a situation in which he has made an investment. He gets it in his head that his investment (for a struggling friend) has been lost in the swindle.
Of course, the investment he is thinking about hasn't come anywhere near the Madoff-ponzi-schemer. But that doesn't keep Montalbano from stewing until finally he can trace things back.
That may seem to be such a silly thing, but it is so Sicilian (or, at least, so it seems to me). Having come from a Sicilian father myself, and having inherited a lot of the Sicilian personality (as far away from it as I am), I truly understand. If I had a nickel for each time I've made up a problem which doesn't exist, I'd be rich.
That's a trite thing to say, but it is true!
So I love Montalbano. He explains a lot about me.
And the stories are good stories too, not exceptional, but very readable about interesting people.
As with so much of my reading, I stumbled on Montalbano through a blog. I have been well rewarded by the two books I've read so far. There are a lot of the Montalbano books, I think. I will probably try to read them all.
Extra note: Stephen Sartarelli translates the books. Without him, I couldn't have read the books. These books are wonderful to read. I get the feeling the translator is a master translator.