The Best Episodes of Inspector Montalbano
Last Updated: Jun 10, 2019
Inspector Salvo Montalbano is a fictional character created by Italian writer Andrea Camilleri in a series of novels and short stories. Set in the imaginary town of Vigata, the fractious detective's character and manner encapsulate much of Sicilian mythology - brooding philosophy, whip smart dialogue, rugged beauty, superb food - and astute detective work. Montalbano is played for RAI by Luca Zingaretti. The series is almost entirely shot in the Sicilian city of Ragusa, Italy, and surrounding towns.
#1 - The Age of Doubt
Season 8 - Episode 4
Montalbano wakes up from a nightmare: he dreamt of his funeral, and his bad mood gets worse as the stormy weather floods Vigàta. On his way to the police station, he runs into Vanna Digiulio, a girl just arrived from Palermo to meet her aunt, Livia Giovannini, who’s reaching Vigàta’s harbour on her yacht. As soon as Vanna’s aunt lands in Vigàta later than expected due to the discovery of a corpse at sea, Vanna disappears. Since Livia gets surprised as Montalbano asks after her niece, he starts doubting about the truth of the girl’s real identity.
#2 - The Potter's Field
Season 8 - Episode 1
In a dreadful morning a body cut into pieces and wrapped in a plastic bag is found in a clay deposit. All the signs point to an old-fashioned mafia style execution of a traitor. Strangely enough, Mimì Augello who lately has been unusually irritable and short-tempered, is now driving the entire police station crazy. Augello insists on being assigned to the case and, if he doesn’t get it, is threatening to request a new assignment elsewhere.
#3 - Treasure Hunt
Season 8 - Episode 3
An elderly couple, both religious fanatics, barricade themselves in their home and begin shooting from the windows and balconies apparently with no reason. Montalbano’s men finally succeed in disarming them: there seems to be no reason for this insane action but inside the home they find a strangely disfigured inflatable doll. A few days later, when an identical doll is discovered in a garbage bin, Montalbano has a bad premonition.
#4 - Equal Time
Season 5 - Episode 2
The murder of Angelo Bonpensiero would appear to be the start of a mafia war. Montalbano has his doubts. He is then taken off the case and assigned to investigate the disappearance of a young Ukrainian woman, seemingly unrelated to the previous case he will find out that he should have trusted his instinct after all...
#5 - The Sense of Touch
Season 4 - Episode 1
The seemingly accidental death of a blind man leads Montalbano to an island off the coast of Siciliy. Here the Inspector discovers that both the murder victim and a local fisherman had each deposited huge sums of money in their respective bank accounts. Following the mysterious demise of a second man, who was also blind, the investigation begins to focus on the operations of a charitable foundation which increasingly looks not so charitable after all.
#6 - A Diary from 1943
Season 13 - Episode 2
In Vigàta an old notebook is found, belonging to a boy, then aged 15, fascinated by fascist ideology. In its pages the young man confesses to carrying out a massacre in September 1943. While the police are trying to reconstruct and shed light on the story described in the diary, a sprightly ninety-year-old turns up, asking Salvo to have his name removed from a war memorial, to which it was added by mistake. The next day a wealthy businessman from the city, also ninety years old, is found dead.
#7 - Montalbano's Croquettes
Season 4 - Episode 2
As the small town of Vigata prepares for its New Year celebrations, local police inspector Salvo Montalbano is reluctantly making arrangements to travel to Paris with his girlfriend. What he would much rather do, however, is accept a dinner invitation by his cleaner Adelina, who has promised to cook rice croquettes. A wealthy husband and wife are found dead in what appears to be a car accident, but quickly turns into a murder investigation. And as the circumstances surrounding the death of the couple grow more and more mysterious, clues point to the involvement of Adelina's son Pasquale.
#8 - The Mystery of the Terracotta Dog
Season 2 - Episode 2
A criminal turned state witness informs Montalbano of an arms stash in a cave just outside Vigata. Also uncovered in the cave is a secret chamber where the bodies of two lovers, killed sometime in the 1940s, were buried in a bizarre ritual. An intrigued Montalbano must challenge the Mafia and deal with the arms cache before he can investigate this second find.
#9 - Angelica's Smile
Season 9 - Episode 1
A series of burglaries takes place at the houses of wealthy Vigata residents. One of the victims is a beguiling young bank manager called Angelica, to whom Salvo finds he is soon attracted. As the investigation progresses, Montalbano starts to suspect that the burglaries might be a cover for something rather more sinister.
#10 - Paper Moon
Season 7 - Episode 4
Wealthy womanizer Angelo Pardo is killed in what seems to be a crime of passion. But Montalbano, as usual, refuses to trust appearances and carries out the investigation his way, delving into the victim's past and talking with anyone who may be involved in the case, including a number of politicians who start dying one after the other, victims of a bad batch of cocaine. In the end Montalbano faces the toughest challenge of his career: to try to comprehend the female psyche to solve this crime.
#11 - Hall of Mirrors
Season 9 - Episode 2
A bomb goes off outside an empty store-room in a quiet Vigata street. Montalbano commences his investigation, but is soon disorientated by a series of disparate events, including the acquaintance of an attractive and mysterious woman.
#12 - The Gull's Dance
Season 8 - Episode 2
Fazio is missing. He's not at home, his mobile is switched off and he missed a meeting with his father who couldn't find him anywhere. Montalbano is convinced that Fazio started an investigation on his own, and he's probably in great trouble. Following Fazio's tracks, signs of shooting are found on a spot, and an informer reports having seen the young officer captured by two criminals who were planning to throw him in a dried well. Montalbano's search becomes more and more dramatic and frantic, and even if Fazio seems definitely vanished, he's determined to find him alive at all costs.
#13 - The Track of Sand
Season 7 - Episode 3
A badly injured horse dies on the beach in front of Montalbano's house. The investigation opened by the Chief detective brings him into contact with elegant races organized by local nobles, as well as the secret contests held by the mafia for illegal betting. Montalbano even meets a beautiful horsewoman who is a friend of Ingrid's. Avoiding the distractions placed in his way, Montalbano solves the case with a crafty strategy, even clearing the faithful Galluzzo of a murder charge.
#14 - The Voice of the Violin
Season 1 - Episode 2
When the naked dead body of a young woman is found in a villa outside Vigata, Montalbano discovers that she had recently bought the villa and was in the process of restoring it using her wealthy husband's money. When the case is taken from Montalbano and given to rival inspector Panzacchi from nearby Montelusa, Panzacchi draws some easy conclusions and the investigation risks going badly off course. Will a proud Montalbano stick his neck out to regain control of the case or will he allow his incompetent colleagues to pin the murder on the wrong suspect?
#15 - The Shape of Water
Season 2 - Episode 1
Mr Luparello, a renowned local engineer and leading political figure, is found dead in a car at a notorious prostitution spot on the outskirts of Vigata. The coroner rules that he died of a heart attack following an amorous encounter. Fending off pressure from prominent ecclesiastical figures who wish to keep the case under wraps and navigating the intricacies of local party politics, Montalbano goes about making sense of the available evidence, including the incongruous discovery of an expensive necklace found at the site of the murder.
#16 - The Artist's Touch
Season 3 - Episode 2
Goldsmith Alberto Larussa appears to have committed suicide by turning his wheelchair into an electric chair. But Inspector Montalbano discovers that the dead man's will, which leaves everything to his brother Giacomo, was forged. Giacomo is arrested, but he maintains that he did not kill Alberto. Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector Mimi' Augello is working on the case of a mysteriously-murdered electrician.
#17 - August Flame
Season 7 - Episode 1
While a guest at the rented beach house of a fellow officer and his family, Montalbano discovers the body of Rina, a young woman who had disappeared six years earlier, in a trunk. As he begins his investigation, Montalbano falls prey to a burning passion for the dead woman's twin sister Adriana. She helps him search for the murderer, but, at the same time, she drives him wild, to the point where he unwittingly starts carrying out her plans for vengeance.
#18 - The Scent of the Night
Season 4 - Episode 3
Investor Emanuele Gargano has disappeared with the savings entrusted to him by the people of Montelusa. Montalbano's investigation brings him into contact with some of Gargano's staff - his obsessively loyal secretary Mariastella Cosentino and the provocative Michela Manganaro. Meanwhile, Augello is getting cold feet about the prospect of his wedding.
#19 - As Per Procedure
Season 11 - Episode 2
A young woman is found dead and naked in the foyer of an apartment block, her body showing signs of what can only have been a brutal and sexually motivated murder. Montalbano sets out to investigate the circumstances surrounding the girl's death, but every one of the block's inhabitants claims to never have met her before. Someone must be lying.
#20 - The Goldfinch and the Cat
Season 4 - Episode 4
A series of mysterious muggings takes place in Vigata, ending in tragedy when one of the victims is killed. Meanwhile, a man virtually destroys the emergency room at the hospital after finding out that his young daughter is pregnant. A local doctor is also missing and presumed dead. Montalbano investigates all three cases, gradually uncovering the links between them.
#21 - A Delicate Matter
Season 10 - Episode 1
Montalbano is visiting Livia in Boccadasse when he is called back to Vigata to investigate the murder of a 70-year-old prostitute - as well as disturbing accusations at an elementary school.
#22 - The Turning Point
Season 5 - Episode 1
Montalbano finds a decomposed body floating in the water during his morning swim, and that's just the start of the water-borne tragedies.
#23 - Excursion to Tindari
Season 3 - Episode 1
A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building and an elderly couple are reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari. Inspector Montalbano tries to solve these two seemingly unrelated cases amid the daily complications of life at Vigata police station. But when he discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily's brutal 'New Mafia' and leads him down a path more twisted and far-reaching than any he has ever been down before.
#24 - A Ray of Light
Season 9 - Episode 4
#25 - A Nest of Vipers
Season 11 - Episode 1
Businessman Cosimo Barletta is found dead in his holiday home, with a gunshot to the head. Montalbano's investigation reveals a series of unexpected facts about the man's life and death - starting with the discovery of an archive of photographs of young women and continuing with the autopsy results, which indicate there might have been more to the man's killing than had initially met the eye. Salvo meets with Barletta's disowned son Arturo, and is helped along the investigation by Arturo's mysterious sister, Giovanna.