ROME -- Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri , who won loyal fans worldwide for his series of books about Sicilian detective Montalbano, has died. He was 93.
RAI state TV, which produced wildly popular TV versions of his books, interrupted programming to announce his death Wednesday and comment on his works.
Rome hospital system also announced his death, a few weeks after the long-ailing author was hospitalized with heart problems.
Long a successful director for stage and TV, including for RAI, Camilleri was nearly 70 when he also 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, laced with Sicilian dialect, about a likable small-town police chief who mixed morality with pragmatism in sleuthing.