'A brother,' he said.
Jesus Christ! Now where'd this brother come from? Whose brother? Montalbano had known from the start that between all the brothers, uncles, in-laws, nephews and nieces, this case was going to drive him crazy.
Chief Inspector Montalbano is on enforced sick leave. He is being vigorously looked after by his spirited girlfriend Livia, which unfortunately means his housekeeper - an excellent cook - has retreated in a fit of pique.
Then when a local girl goes mysteriously missing, the whole community takes an interest in the case. But why are the kidnappers so sure that the girl's impoverished father and dying mother will be able to find a fortune? The ever-inquisitive Montalbano steps in, to get to the heart of the matter in his own inimitable style.