Cold Tuscan Stone: A Rick Montoya Italian Mystery
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: March 2013
Duration: 8 hours 24 minutes
Rick Montoya has just moved from Santa Fe to Rome, embracing the life of a translator. He’s beginning to settle in to la dolce vita when school friend Beppo, now senior in the Italian Art Squad, recruits Rick for an unofficial undercover role. Armed with a list of galleries, suspects, and an expense account, Rick arrives in Tuscany posing as a buyer for a Santa Fe gallery to flush out traffickers in priceless burial urns. However, before sunset on his first day in Volterra, the challenge intensifies.
Rick has one quick conversation with a gallery employee who dies minutes later in a brutal fall from a high cliff. Has the trade in fraudulent artifacts upgraded to murder? Are the traffickers already on to Rick? The local commissario and his team consider Rick an amateur and, worse, a foreigner. Plus Rick is a suspect in what proves to be the dead man’s murder. While the Volterra squad pursues its leads, Rick continues to interview his list: a museum director, a top gallery owner, a low-profile import-export businessman and his enterprising color-coordinated assistant, a sensuous heiress with a private art specialty and clientele. When Rick’s girlfriend Erica, an art history professor, arrives from Rome to visit him, she rekindles a friendship with an alluring, maybe dangerous, acquaintance. Has Rick’s role made him the target of both cops and criminals?
“David P. Wagner gives us a compelling new character in a setting so romantic and redolent of history it pulls us in immediately and holds us until the surprising ending…This is a wonderful start to a series, which should have immediate legs, and surely will thrill everyone who has lived in Italy, been to Italy, or would like to visit. As a boy I lived in both Firenze and Napoli, and reading Wagner takes me back deeply and instantly.”--Joseph Heywood, author of Hard Ground