The bestselling writer had been in a critical condition in the hospital since suffering a cardiac arrest last month.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that at 8:20 am…. the writer Andrea Camilleri died,” the hospital said in a statement on Wednesday.

“His condition, which remained critical over the past few days, worsened in the last hours, compromising his vital functions.”
Born in the Sicilian town of Porto Empedocle in 1925, Camilleri saw his books turned into a TV series in 1999 that was picked up in Britain, the United States and Australia.

Camilleri spent most of his working life as a director and screenwriter at RAI.

His crime-writing career didn’t take off until he was 69 years old.

Nonetheless, his books have been translated into 32 languages and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Most of his output of more than 100 books features Salvo Montalbano, a police inspector in the fictional Sicilian town of Vigàta.

“I didn’t think I was capable of enough imagination for such a long series, but I managed to do it,” Camilleri told ANSA on the 20th anniversary of the publication of his first Montalbano book.

Camilleri said he owed a “huge debt” to Belgian writer Georges Simenon’s detective Jules Maigret, but Montalbano takes his name from Catalan novelist Manuel Vazquez Montalban, creator of gastronome detective Pepe Carvalho.

“Goodbye to Andrea Camilleri, father of Montalbano and tireless narrator of his native Sicily,” Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Twitter.

Fellow deputy prime minister Luigi di Maio said it was “sad news for Sicily, which loses a son, and for Italy”.

“We will miss you,” he added.

Camilleri’s funeral will be private, as per the family’s wishes.