Rather Contrived Episode of the Sicilian Detective Series
This episode of the detective series has our eponymous hero (Luca Zingaretti) investigating a bizarre series of muggings in which elderly ladies get threatened by a man on a motorcycle with a helmet obscuring his features; he shoots blanks at then and steals their handbags, but otherwise leaves them untouched. The process continues until the fourth assault, when an elderly lady - married to a prosperous lawyer - is shot dead at point-blank range. The Inspector embarks on a complicated case that requires him to travel to Palermo as well as listening to a variety of testimonies - relevant or otherwise - from some of the other victims.
The title of this episode - The Cat and the Goldfinch - is somewhat misleading, as the two animals are only mentioned in the denouement, as the Inspector finally solves the case. The solution seems a little contrived, prompting us to ask various questions about the victims' whereabouts before she was murdered.
Nonetheless, THE CAT AND THE GOLDFINCH has other things to distract us
notably the mental anguish experienced by Montalbano's sidekick
Augello (Cesare Bocci) as he prepares for marriage. With a perpetual yen for other women, his eye still wanders, but the Inspector perpetually dissuades him from acting upon his impulses. For his part, Montalbano both forgets the date of Augello's wedding and has a great deal of difficulty trying to arrange for the wedding-rings to be engraved; as Augello's best man, it is his duty to undertake these responsibilities, but Monbtalbano is so engrossed in his work that he invariably forgets to do so. By the end of the episode, we are still uncertain as to whether the wedding will go ahead.
Not the best entry in the series, it must be admitted, but Zingaretti is still worth watching for his carefully nuanced yet humorous characterization of the Inspector.
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