Translator Rick Montoya moved to Rome six months ago from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shortly after he arrived he ran into an old high school buddy from the American Overseas School of Rome.
Beppo Rinaldi currently worked at the Ministry of Culture. Beppo asked Rick to go undercover posing as a buyer to help him recover stolen Etruscan artifacts and urns, and find out who was behind the theft of the artifacts. Rick agreed and after his briefing, he headed to Volterra to check out his three top suspects from a longer list of possibilities.
His first stop was to check in with Commissario Carlo Conti, who would play a defining role in Montoya’s movements around the area during the investigation. He then visited the Galleria Landi where he met the owner Antonio Landi, and his assistant and the manager of his workshop, Orlando Canopo. Shortly after the meeting Canopo died from a questionable fall from a high part of the city. The police first thought it was suicide, but Rick believed otherwise.
Rick continued his visits to the other two possible suspects, Donatella Minotti, an art dealer and a friend of Rick’s girlfriend; and Rino Polpetto, who runs an import-export business. He also comes into contact with the mysterious Signor Santo who suggests he has some works of art Rick might be interested in. The deeper Rick goes into his assignment, the more realizes he may be putting his own life on the line.
Cold Tuscan Stone, A Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, was written by David P. Wagner. The author was a retired Foreign Service officer who has lived in Italy and South America, and currently lives in New Mexico.
The knowledge he gained during his travels have served him well. His first novel is a fascinating tale about what goes on in the world of art, artifacts, and acquisitions. Readers will feel like they have a first-hand look at what goes on behind the scenes in art galleries and the import/export business. It is not all that it seems from the front sales area.
Rick Montoya is an interesting character, knowledgeable, likeable, and one readers will want to read more about. One feels Rick has much more to teach us about solving mysteries and protecting precious artifacts, as well as enjoying local Italian cuisine. We are looking forward to the second book in this marvelous new series.
A special thank you goes to Poisoned Pen Press for providing a complimentary copy of this book for our review. You will find David Wagner's book at Amazon.