Montalbano's methods are anything but ordinary. He comes up with hypotheses and then goes about trying to find evidence. If a theory proves wrong, he imagines a new one and sets out to work on that one. Indeed, the whole system of Italian justice seems casual and haphazard. The right hand doesn't always seem to want to work with the left. Different jurisdictions work against each other. Prosecutors communicate with the police obtusely. Investigations stall as detectives wait for specialists to show up. Suspects are lied to. Evidence is shoved in back pockets and forgotten. Cases, if this is any example, are solved as much by happenstance as by investigative work, almost in spite of the investigative work, and I guess this is what makes the book so much fun.
The translation by Stephen Sartarelli is to my mind a bit stiff at times, almost clunky and not quite natural. It reads as though written by a non-native speaker. Also there is an attempt to characterize local dialect for some of the characters and it isn't always easy to make out what is being said. "Halloo? Iss izza...." "Chief, 'at'd be summon says 'e's Pasquale Cirribbiccio onna tiliphone." I assume this is meant to parallel what Camilleri does in the original, but for my money I could do without it. It calls attention to itself for no good reason. Still these are minor complaints that become less and less annoying as you get engrossed in the characters and their machinations.