"Wagner hits all the right notes in this debut. His likable protagonist engages, plus the Italian angle is always appealing. Perfect for readers who enjoy a complex puzzle, a bit of humor, and a fairly gentle procedural. Don't miss this one."—Library Journal STARRED review
When Rick Montoya moves to Rome to work as a translator, he doesn't expect to get involved in an investigation. But as the situation spirals, he soon finds himself fighting for his life
Rick Montoya has moved from New Mexico to Rome, embracing the life of a translator. He's settling in to la dolce vita when a school friend who is 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 would arrive in Tuscany posing as a buyer for a gallery and spend his days looking at Roman artifacts and sipping wine to flush out burial urn traffickers.
But before sunset on Rick's first day in Volterra, a gallery employee dies in a brutal fall from a high cliff.
The local Commissario and his team consider Rick an amateur, and worse, a foreigner. And now they suspect him in 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, and a sensuous heiress with a private art specialty and clientele.
Has Rick's role made him the target of both cops and criminals?
The first Tuscan book in David P. Wagner's Italian mysteries introduces us to Rick Montoya, an American translator who agrees to help catch art smugglers—and soon finds himself in over his head.
Other books in the Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries: Cold Tuscan Stone Death in the Dolomites Murder Most Unfortunate Return to Umbria A Funeral in Mantova
About the Author
David P. Wagner is a retired foreign service officer who spent nine years in Italy, learning to love things Italian. Other diplomatic assignments included Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay, as well as two hardship postings to Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Mary, live in Pueblo, Colorado.
"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 The Woods Cop Mysteries, The Snowfly and The Berkut
"If you are interested in Italian art and artifacts, Italian history and culture, Italian food and wine, or even just good storytelling, then Cold Tuscan Stone will be right up your cobblestone alleyway. Set in the ancient Tuscan town of Volterra, David P. Wagner's atmospheric debut novel delivers all of the above and more... Simply put, this exciting, intriguing, well-written mystery extends an offer no reader should refuse. Capiche?" — Amanda Matetsky, author of The Paige Turner Mysteries
"Wagner hits all the right notes in this debut. His likable protagonist engages, plus the Italian angle is always appealing. Perfect for readers who enjoy a complex puzzle, a bit of humor, and a fairly gentle procedural. Don't miss this one." — Library Journal STARRED Review
"The intriguing art milieu, mouthwatering cuisine, and the team of the ironic Conti and the bemused but agile Montoya are bound to attract fans." — Publishers Weekly