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Cold Tuscan Stone: A Rick Montoya Italian Mystery by David Wagner
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Poisoned Pen Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781464201905
Date: 03 September 2013 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Great new author and the start of a new character series. Rick Montoya, the son of an American diplomat helps the Italian police capture art thieves. Read Cold Tuscan Stone and you won’t be sorry!

It is hard to start this review with anything other than, "I loved this book!"

The story takes place in Rome and Tuscany. The lead character, Rick Montoya, is the son of an American diplomat and spent much of his childhood in Rome. Rick's mother is native Italian, and Rick has chosen a career as a translator and lives in Rome. While there, a high school friend of Rick's contacts Rick to do some undercover work for him on behalf of the Italian Art Ministry to help uncover a theft ring of stolen Etruscan artifacts in the town of Volterra in Tuscany.

Rick is not a policeman, nor is he skilled in undercover work, but his role is to play an American art dealer from his native Santa Fe, New Mexico and try to buy artifacts for a gallery back home. Rick accepts, as he is natural for the part.

Once Rick gets to Volterra the action begins. Rick begins to talk to the local suspects using his guise as the American art dealer, but shortly after he talks to one of the suspects, the suspect is murdered. Rick was the last person to talk to him alive. That puts Rick in the middle of a murder investigation in addition to his art dealer duties.

I loved the story. The author is a new author starting a new character line. The travel to Rome and Tuscany is a bonus to the mystery. The way the mystery reads reminds me a little of a Humphrey Bogart detective movie, so I peg it as classic mystery writing. I can't wait to read the next one!

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