Italian writer Andrea Camilleri, who won loyal fans worldwide for his Inspector Montalbano books, has died at the age of 93.
State broadcaster RAI, which produced popular TV versions of his detective stories, interrupted programming to announce his death on Wednesday.
Roman health officials announced Camilleri's death, a few weeks after the author was taken to hospital with heart problems.
After a successful career as a director for stage and TV, including for RAI, Camilleri was nearly 70 when he scored literary success.
Camilleri, whose 100th book was published when he was 91, set most of his works on his native Sicily.
He was frequently Italy's best-selling author, especially for his books about the likeable small-town police chief Montalbano, who mixed morality with pragmatism in his sleuthing.
Australian Associated Press