Camilleri's readers will have come to enjoy Montalbano's squabbles with the dedicated, ill-tempered and amusingly sarcastic pathologist Pasquano. Here, in addition to a brief insight into the sympathy of temperament between the two, Camilleri uses a shouting match between them to convey information.
By the time the antagonists have finished bellowing at each, the reader has been entertained. Just as important and perhaps more impressive, the reader knows how the murder victim was killed, about marks on her body, about traces of material found inside her fatal wound, about what she may have been wearing when she died, and about a possibly significant substance found under her fingernails.
That's a brilliant way to avoid the dreaded information dump, always a hazard when forensic pathologists come on the scene. Man, does that Camilleri ever know what he's doing.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009