Canadian Hamilton (author of the Arthur Ellis nominated The African Quest, etc.) serves up her usual appealing mix of objets d'art and murder in her sixth well-researched mystery to feature antiquities dealer Lara McClintoch. In Rome, reclusive billionaire Crawford Lake hires Lara to get him the Bellerophon, a rare companion piece to the Chimera of Arezzo, one of the great Etruscan art treasures. Lara sets out to secure the Bellerophon from the collector who owns it, Robert Godard. There's just one hitchshe's sure it's a fake. Returning to deal with the collector, she finds an unwelcome sight: Godard lay sprawled, his body contorted in an awkward position, with his useless legs partly under him, his eyes still open, mouth contorted in a hideous grimace of fear or perhaps rage, as blood seeped from a wound at the back of his head. The picaresque plot leads from France to Rome to Ireland via a twisting set of intricate machinations and a sense of wanderlust that never flags. The peripatetic Ms. McClintoch makes an engaging detective, whether she's canvassing a flea market at Vanves for a 1924 edition of Sir Richard Burton's The Kasidah or window shopping on a little street off the Boulevard St. Germain. The author provides some tense moments, some impressionistic descriptions of the European terrain and some truly unforgivable puns (With any luck, I'd forced the issue. Because I was sick and tired of waiting for Godard ). Erudite mystery fans will enjoy the sophisticated wit. (May 7) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
[A] picaresque plot...intricate machinations and a sense of wanderlust that never flags. ("Publishers Weekly")