Inspector Salvatore Montalbano wakes from strange dreams to find a gruesomely bludgeoned horse carcass in front of his seaside home. When his men came to investigate, the carcass has disappeared, leaving only a trail in the sand. Then his home is ransacked and the inspector is certain that the crimes are linked. As he negotiates both the glittering underworld of horseracing and the Mafia's connection to it, Montalbano is aided by his illiterate housekeeper, Adelina, and a Proustian memory of linguate fritte. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be charmed by Montalbano's blend of unorthodox methods, melancholy self-reflection, and love of good food.