Rick Montoya is living in Rome, busy with his translation service, when his school chum Beppo Rinaldi from the Ministry of Culture rings him up for lunch. Half American and half Italian, Rick is the perfect guy to sniff out an antiquities smuggling ring in Volterra. Posing as an agent for a Santa Fe art gallery, his job is to infiltrate their operations by pretending to be a buyer.
Armed with a list of suspects and contacts to be made in Volterra, Rick joins forces with the local police force, who reluctantly support him in his efforts. But soon after making his first contact, a man is murdered, and he is the last person known to have seen him alive. Now a suspect in the murder, Rick wonders if this assignment is going to be more dangerous than he thought.
Cold Tuscan Stone is a charming mystery set in an isolated location off the main tourist track. Steeped in history and culture, it’s a fun read for any armchair traveler interested in Europe’s past. I look forward to reading more of this new series.
Reviewer: Alice Berger