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 in his investigation by Arturo’s mysterious sister, Giovanna.
Montalbano, the kindest cop in Italy started his day sharing freshly made coffee and offering a hot shower to a man who had slept on his balcony all night. The mysterious man left for his home as Salvo was distracted by a telephone call telling him there had been yet another murder. Barletta had had a thing for young women and his murder may be linked to this or to his son’s worry that the inheritance is being frittered away.
Livia arrives unexpectedly and suggests that Salvo gives his spare clothing to Camastra the vagrant who slept on the balcony. Salvo is less than pleased as some of the pieces are favourites or gifts from his housekeeper Adelina.
Meanwhile the young girls Barletta has been involved with may well have been blackmailed by him. Photos of them in various undressed poses give Mimi something to think about as he compares them to mug shots of known criminals and women he has known. One of them, Stephania, seems to have genuinely liked Barletta and knew nothing of the blackmail photos. Salvo holds her photos and Stella’s back when he sends the evidence over to the prosecutor.
Cannoli always looks so enticing to Salvo even in the morgue. Discussions about the cause of death don’t seem to put either man off the creamy dessert.
Salvo and Livia seems much closer than normal but even so, she calls him a stronzo several times when he misspeaks. The translation in the subtitles is “jerk” which is not exactly correct.
Barletta’s daughter seems to have set her cap at Salvo which sets the cat amongst the pigeons. Salvo’s inability to say no is as inexplicable as his locked front door while his balcony door remains open to all and sundry.
The vagrant holds a key piece of information that allows Montalbano to draw the investigation to close even if the conclusion will shock the unprepared viewer.